Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet (27 February 1848 - 7 October 1918) was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.Parry's first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I was glad", and the hymn tune Repton, which sets the words "Dear Lord and Father of
He was director of the Royal College of Music from 1895 until his death and was also professor of music at the University of Oxford from 1900 to 1908. He also wrote several books about music and music history.
Some contemporaries rated him as the finest English composer since Henry Purcell, but his academic duties prevented him from devoting all his energies to composition.
Parry was a great lover of the music of Bach, and many of his works demonstrate this interest and mastery.
The Chorale Prelude on "Martyrdom" is the 6th piece in the 2nd set of Chorale Preludes, first published in 1916. The score is attached below, and the piece begins on page 30. A photo of Parry is also attached.
Written in somber and solemn D minor, the piece is simply marked "Slow." The piece sounds to me almost like a "cantata movement" or a "solo" from a setting of the Passion. There is the feel of the "death march" always present in this prelude. The Orchestral Oboe of the Solo organ, with its plaintive tone makes a telling effect here, both in single notes and in octaves.
This hymn used to be THE "mandatory" opening hymn, if you were having a service of Three Hours Devotion. Nowadays, we don't hear this much, and it has been dropped from a lot of the modern hymnals as being too "old fashioned" or to "dreary.
The text is by Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), and the tune, "St. Cross" is by the Rev. John B. Dykes (1823-1876).
The text of the first verse is as follows:
O come and mourn with me awhile;
O come ye to the Saviour's side;
O come, together let us mourn;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.