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Melody

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/21/19)
Composer: Parry, Hubert
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet (27 February 1848 – 7 October 1918) was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.

As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I was glad", the choral and orchestral ode Blest Pair of Sirens, and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind". His orchestral works include five symphonies and a set of Symphonic Variations.

He was a contributor to Grove's massive Dictionary of Music and Musicians in the 1870s and 80s, and then in 1883 as professor of composition and musical history at the Royal College of Music, of which Grove was the first head. In 1895 Parry succeeded Grove as head of the College, remaining in the post for the rest of his life. He was concurrently Heather Professor of Music at the University of Oxford from 1900 to 1908. Stanford rated him as the finest English composer since Henry Purcell. Edward Elgar learned much of his craft from Parry's articles in Grove's Dictionary, and among those who studied under Parry at the Royal College were Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Frank Bridge and John Ireland.

"Melody", written around 1910, was later arranged by Parry as "Romance", and became the 3rd of "Five Romantic Pieces" for piano. When I first played through this I thought: "This is too corny! It must have been a student work..."

As I played it a few more times, I realized that this is mature Parry, and it is not "corny" at all! It's a perfect period piece. It recreates the last, carefree peace of the world, soon to be forever shattered by World War I.

In this recording, you hear the quiet stops of the Choir played against the Swell Hautboy with tremulant, which sounds very "period correct" to me.

Before the end, the Swell strings have a chance with a final descant played upon the Solo Concert Flute with the 32' Open Wood on the final chord.

The score and a photo of Parry are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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