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British Composers - Parry: Symphony No 5, Etc / Boult


Release Date: 05/23/2000 
Label:  Emi Classics Special Import Catalog #: 65107   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Philharmonic Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Boult conducting Parry ... something special. Drew grand things from Boult even into old age. A golden anthology.

There are some mysteries about the decisions of record companies. Why this was issued by EMI in early batches from their British Composers series and then allowed to slip into deletion hell we shall never know. Much the same question arises with the same company and series in relation to Arthur Bliss's Morning Heroes recorded by Charles Groves with the RLPO and RLP Chorus (CDM 7 63906 2). Perhaps Arkiv will secure the license to issue the Bliss as well?

In any event the present disc, largely recorded at one of Boult's final sessions now appears courtesy of Arkiv's on-demand service. It's
Read more handsomely done by Arkiv and the booklet in quality is now indistinguishable from the original disc except for the Arkiv logo on the back.

As for the music, Parry is much more than a museum piece or a pawn on the chess board of music history. The language moves between Brahms and Schumann, leaning more toward Brahms. You can hear that from the very start of the Fifth Symphony in which Boult, even at his then advanced age, catches all the conflagration that blazes through Parry's equally fiery First Symphony. The Fifth Symphony is however more concise than his earliest symphony and runs to four tersely-titled movements: Stress, Love, Play, Now. These titles are in themselves fascinating - noting the change from states of existence to a temporal statement (Now) in which the emotional state can only be extracted from listening to the music. This is warmly Brahmsian in the manner of the Second and Fourth symphonies with a Viennese Schubertian lilt in the Play movement. The finale is the longest at 7:40. The start of the Play movement is redolent of Elgar's Enigma. This movement has a touch of Nobilmente as well as of early Straussian exuberance.

Twenty-five years earlier came Parry's Blest Pair of Sirens set to Milton's poem At a Solemn Music. It here receives a golden sunburst of a performance and recording notable for the tonal weight of the choir even if sung unanimity is not always perfect. This recording was made in 1966.

The Symphonic Variations are sturdy but take a while in this performance to catch the heavenly fire to defeat the academic surface of most sets of variations. Parry's magnificent way with the striding horns can be heard at 2:12. How good it would be to hear these Variations alongside the similarly grand Elegiac Variations by Thomas Dunhill. Michael Pope in his fine liner-note tells us that Parry regarded Brahms as the greatest artist of the time. Parry's overture-length Elegy for Brahms in fact had to wait until 1918 for its premiere. At that stage it had been revised by Stanford who conducted the work at the Parry Memorial Concert at the RCM on 8 November 1918. Boult makes this Elegy shine in a golden aureole which celebrates Brahms rather than laments him.

Boult conducting Parry was clearly something special and Parry's music drew grand things from Boult even into old age. A golden anthology well worth the outlay alongside Nimbus's recording of the First Symphony (Boughton – a magnificently alive version), Boult's Lyrita collection and Bamert's Chandos Parry cycle.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5 in B minor "Symphonic fantasia" by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
2.
Elegy for Brahms by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 
3.
Blest Pair of Sirens (At a Solemn Music) by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; England 
4.
Symphonic Variations in E minor by Charles Hubert Parry
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 

Featured Sound Samples

Symphony no 5 "Symphonic Fantasia": III. Play
Elegy for Brahms

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Where is Parry? September 29, 2012 By M. Hazen (Jacksonville, FL) See All My Reviews "Our Cathedral organist did several reviews about composers that have written loads of music, but are know only by one or two pieces. Check the Sir Hubert Parry list to see the seven pages of music he composed. But the only one that most singers know is "I Was Glad", and even "Jerusalem". He whetted up my appetite to hear what orchestral works he composed. Not very many are on the record shelves. So I chose to listen to Parry's Symphony No. 5 with Sir Adrian Boult conducting.Also on the album is "Blest Pair of Sirens", which our choir is singing,plus several other selections. I just received the second CD. (or choir master grabbed the first one!)I know the two famous pieces very weel, but I am anxious to her Symphony No.5!" Report Abuse
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