An instant success, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry’s oratorio Judith premiered in Birmingham in August 1888. The work consolidated his reputation as a composer of large-scale orchestral and choral writing. With its vigorous choruses and dramatic solo roles, the work is of persistent quality. Yet somehow, the work has been largely neglected for the last century. On this release, the work is presented by the Crouch End Festival Chorus and the London Mozart Players led by William Vann. Soloists Sarah Fox, Kathryn Rudge, Toby Spence and Henry Waddington round out the recording with enthusiastic performances.
Every aspect ofRead more this performance sounds like a labour of love. Rudge’s soaring, expressive singing as Meshullemeth gives the piece its real heart, and she’s accompanied with intense sympathy by the conductor William Vann, who avoids any suggestion of bombast or sentimentality, and builds Parry’s great paragraphs so eloquently and with such assurance that you’d think he’d been conducting this music all his life
You don’t have to be Parry’s champion Prince Charles to feel a thrill as the soprano Sarah Fox rings out as Judith, the Crouch Enders exult, the tenor Toby Spence sonorously conveys the vacillating king Manasseh and Parry creates sequences of stirring clamour.
Judithby Charles Hubert Parry Performer:
Sarah Fox (Soprano),
Kathryn Rudge (Mezzo Soprano),
Toby Spence (Tenor),
Henry Waddington (Baritone)
London Mozart Players,
Crouch End Festival Chorus
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Well, we won't need another recordingMay 16, 2020By J. Tatnall (West Grove, PA)See All My Reviews"Victorian religiosity and stodginess in a 2 hr oratorio of seeming endless adagio pacing and a couple big choruses at the end. That's it. As a choir boy of Anglican heritage, I have sung many Parry works, and enjoyed them. This would not be one of them. Contrary to many critics who always refer to Mendelssohn as the influence on later Victorian musicians, it really is Schumann, Spohr, and Anton Rubinstein. Parry does not have the melodic interest of Schumann or his way with larger structures, which makes his Faust interesting. And so this 2 hr work drags on. Seriously, Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida is more dramatic. The performance is professional: the chorus is good, the orchestra well known, and the soloists fully up to their parts. As I listened to it I thought how good they would be in Princess Ida! Thus the reference before. So it's nice to have this recording, but we won't need another."Report Abuse