Geoffrey Parsons

Biography

Born: June 15, 1929; Sydney, Australia   Died: January 26, 1995; London, England  
Accompanist is a misleading -- even, demeaning -- term for a musician possessing the uncommon range of skills required to project great music in tandem. The first of these is an intuitive rapport making for hand-in-glove unanimity, allied with the unusual temperament to be, so to speak, second among equals. The stylistic awareness and technical resourcefulness demanded of any performing artist and a superb accompanist must be mercurially Read more responsive. Possessed of these gifts in abundance, Geoffrey Parsons was, for nearly a half-century, a favorite keyboard partner to artists on a roster drawn from the twentieth century's greatest. Early precocity sent him to the Sydney Conservatory at 12 for study with Busoni pupil Winifred Burston (1941-1948). By the time he completed his studies with Friedrich Wührer in Munich in 1956, he already had a considerable career behind him -- a tour of Australia with Essie Ackland in 1948, a Southampton appearance with Peter Dawson, the Grand Old Man of English song (despite being Australian), in 1950, and an appearance with Gerhard Hüsch in the Schubert cycle, Die Winterreise, in London in 1955. His first recital with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf took place in London's Festival Hall in 1961 -- the beginning of a partnership later to blossom into the favored status of Schwarzkopf's principal accompanist. Victoria de Los Angeles, Rita Streich, Dame Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda, Hans Hotter, Hughes Cuénod, and Norman Bailey -- among many others -- gave memorable recitals with Parsons and left a considerable legacy of classic recordings, ranging from the restrained purity of Satie's Socrate, with Cuénod, to the jovial rumbustiousness and vernal poetry of Warlock's best songs, with Norman Bailey, though the great lieder composers and mélodistes, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wolf, Richard Strauss, Mahler, Fauré, and Poulenc were his mainstay. Instrumentalists such as Paul Tortelier, Ida Haendel, and Nathan Milstein often appeared with Parsons. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1971. At the time of his death in 1995 he had become a genial godfather to a new generation of superstar vocalists, including Olaf Bär, Thomas Hampson, and Barbara Bonney. He was also in demand as a teacher, and his master classes were avidly attended. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 48 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 2.
    Britten: Vocal Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 151642 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Henry Purcell,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Heather Harper,  Neil Mackie,  Barry Tuckwell,  Roger Vignoles  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Steuart Bedford,  Richard Armstrong,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Welsh National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Thomas Hampson: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844232 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Daniil Shtoda,  Timothy Robinson,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong,  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Poulenc: Complete Works [20-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 972165 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Gabriel Tacchino,  Jacques Février,  Emmanuel Strosser,  Xavier Phillips  ... 
    Conductor:  François Boulanger,  Georges Prêtre,  John Alldis,  Harry Christophers  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Garde Républicaine Soloists Ensemble,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 5.
    The Other Wagner
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 705514 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Irwin Gage,  Thomas Hampson,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Michel Plasson,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Chorus Men  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    Essential British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40306 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Graham,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Jane Parker-Smith,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alexander Briger,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Emmanuelle Haïm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
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  • 7.
    Essential Britten
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40292 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Heather Harper,  Neil Mackie,  Barry Tuckwell,  Ida Haendel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Iona Brown,  Steuart Bedford,  Paavo Berglund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Endymion Ensemble
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  • 8.
    Essential Encores
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 05149 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Bazzini,  Niccolò Paganini,  Fritz Kreisler,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Vag Papian,  Michael Rabin,  John Lenehan  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi,  Nash Ensemble
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  • 9.
    Lucia Popp - Die Unvergessene (The Unforgettable) / Munchner Rundfunkorchester
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233353 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Zoltán Kodály,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons,  Lucia Popp,  Carole Dawn Reinhart,  Adalbert Kraus
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Marinus Voorberg,  Heinz Wallberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Schubert: Lieder On Record (1898-2012) [17-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27575 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Steven Zehr,  Thomas Hampson,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 11.
    The Very Best Of English Song
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80513 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  John Ireland,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Gerald Moore,  Thomas Allen,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Simon Rattle,  Steuart Bedford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Fretwork,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Essential Schubert
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78158 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Gerald Moore,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Laszlo Varga  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden,  Robert Heger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Chilingirian String Quartet
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  • 13.
    Best Schubert 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80429 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Elmar Schloter,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Alfredo Dallapozza,  Lucia Popp  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Herbert von Karajan,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 14.
    BBC Legends - Janet Baker
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 50062 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ernest Chausson,  Hector Berlioz,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Graham Johnson,  Dame Janet Baker,  Martin Isepp,  Geoffrey Parsons
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Norman Del Mar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 15.
    150 German Folksongs / Prey, Schreier, Dresden Kreuzchor, Thomanerchor Leipzig
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7106 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Friedrich Silcher,  Traditional,  Robert Franz  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Peter Schreier,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden,  Roland Buchner,  Jörg-Peter Weigle
    CD: $19.99
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  • 16.
    100 Best Liszt
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 83794 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Andrea Lucchesini,  Craig Sheppard,  Aldo Ciccolini  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Willi Boskovsky,  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 17.
    Best Liszt 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 87924 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Andrea Lucchesini,  Craig Sheppard,  Aldo Ciccolini  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Willi Boskovsky,  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 18.
    The Very Best Of Janet Baker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94717 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Duruflé  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Timothy Hugh,  John Butt,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Philip Ledger  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    The Very Best Of Thomas Hampson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94807 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Marc Barrard,  Martine Mahé,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Antonio de Almeida  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Best Beethoven 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48445 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  James Morris,  Josef Suk,  Claudio Arrau,  Emil Gilels  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Kurt Sanderling,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Nash Ensemble
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Classical 2011
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97577 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Placido Domingo,  Joyce DiDonato,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Eduardo Müller,  Robert Prizeman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  Quatuor Ebène
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Icon - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Perfect Prima Donna
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 18459 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  J. Edward Merret,  Harold Jackson,  Geraint Jones,  Manoug Parikian  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Gellhorn,  Otto Klemperer,  Thurston Dart,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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    CD: $68.99
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  • 23.
    Liszt: The Complete Piano Music / Leslie Howard
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 44501 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 99
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Xavier W. Mozart,  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Leslie Howard,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Paul Coletti,  Philip Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $389.98
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  • 24.
    The Brahms Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564680814 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Thomas Zehetmair,  Hélène Grimaud,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Domonkos Héja,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Juha Kuivanen,  Pedro Halffter-Caro  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danubia Symphony Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    The Schubert Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 680820 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Hartmut Höll,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Barbara Bonney,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Theodor Guschlbauer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Brandis String Quartet,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir  ... 
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