Horatio Parker

Biography

Born: September 15, 1863; Auburndale, MA   Died: December 18, 1919; Cedarhurst, NY  
Horatio Parker was among the first important American composers. While Ives would eventually eclipse him, Parker was much more prominent during his career. He also became widely known for his church music. In his works, he was a conservative, writing in a European Romantic style that in later years turned even more traditional and non-progressive.

Parker developed health problems during his youth that resulted in bouts of serious
Read more illness throughout his life. He began music studies with his mother on both piano and organ and at age 15, was already composing music. His first effort was the Kate Greenaway Songs (50) which, while immature in their writing, divulged his considerable potential. He went on to study composition in Boston with George Chadwick and concurrently served as church organist at a nearby Dedham church from 1880 to 1882. He also took instruction in music theory during this time from Stephen Emery and on piano from John Orth. In 1882, Parker enrolled at the Munich Academy of Music where he studied composition for three years with, among others, Joseph Rheinberger. He also composed his first large works during this period, including his Symphony in C. After his return to the United States, Parker served as a church musician from 1885 to 1893 at a succession of three major churches in New York City and taught at several, mostly religious, schools. The end of this period saw the appearance of what many consider Parker's masterpiece, the oratorio Hora novissima, whose numerous performances would elevate the composer to national renown by the century's close. In 1893, the year of the work's premiere, Parker accepted a post at Trinity Church in Boston as organist and choirmaster. The following year, he was appointed professor of music at Yale University, and in 1895, he organized the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, conducting many of the ensemble's concerts until 1918. In the latter 1890s, Parker composed a string of choral works on religious subjects -- such as The Legend of St. Christopher (1897) -- none of which, however, rose to the level of popularity or quality of Hora novissima. Among Parker's students at Yale was Charles Ives, who respected his teacher as a musician, but considered him hopelessly backward in his musical views. Still, Parker was highly regarded and eventually appointed dean of the music school (1904), elevating the institution to national prominence for its composition studies. He wrote little music for church services after 1904 and composed relatively few songs thereafter as well. But he continued to produce larger choral works, like the 1908 cantata King Gorm the Grim. Parker turned to opera for the first time in his career with Mona in 1910, which earned him $10,000 as the first-prize winner in a competition sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The work was premiered in 1912 at the Met and its success inspired the composer to write another opera, Fairyland (1914), which also garnered Parker a monetary prize awarded by the National Federation of Music Clubs. Despite initial successes, however, none of his operas or other stage works ever gained a foothold in the repertory. Parker's lifelong precarious health worsened as the war years drew on and by 1918, he was seriously ill. He developed pneumonia on a vacation to the West Indies and died a short time later. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 26 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Celebration: 25 Years of the Alber Schweitzer Memorial Organ / Morrison
    Label: Aca Digital   Catalog: 20127 Release Date: 11/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Nathanael Schnittelbach,  Juan Bautista José Cabanilles,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Morrison
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  • 2.
    American Romantics / Blundell, Gowanus Arts Ensemble
    Label: New Focus   Catalog: 166 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Busch,  Paul Miersch,  Ludwig Bonvin,  Carl Hillman  ... 
    Conductor:  Reuben Blundell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gowanus Arts Ensemble
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  • 3.
    Variations On America / Rudolf Innig
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9171809 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives,  Gioachino Rossini,  Dudley Buck,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Innig
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  • 4.
    Parker: Organ Works / Innig
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 3171741 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Horatio Parker
    Performer:  Rudolf Innig
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  • 5.
    Emilio De Gogorza, Baritone - Selected Recordings
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52068 Release Date: 10/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Emilio de Gogorza,  Emma Eames,  Marcella Sembrich,  Louise Homer  ... 
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  • 6.
    Prayers & Alleluias / Kenneth Dake
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92123 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  McNeil Robinson,  Louie White,  Joseph Jongen,  Calvin Hampton  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Dake
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  • 7.
    Historic Organs Of Seattle: A Young Yet Vibrant History
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Craig Phillips,  Anonymous,  Georg Böhm,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Craig Phillips,  Sharon Porter Shull,  Derek Nickels,  Christopher Marks  ... 
    Conductor:  Tom Foster
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  • 8.
    Historic Organs Of Indiana
    Label: Organ Historical   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Mathias,  Robert Hebble,  Unspecified,  David Conte  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Ellis,  Edie Johnson,  Marko Petricic,  Carla Edwards  ... 
    Conductor:  Jack L. Fox
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  • 9.
    Thomson: Feast Of Love;  Harris, Griffes, Etc / Mann, Mason, Odense So
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9254 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roy Harris,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  John Alden Carpenter,  Horatio Parker  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Mason
    Conductor:  Paul Mann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Mosaics In Sound - Cook, Parker, Sowerby, Etc / Laubach
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7210 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Derek Bourgeois,  Herbert Howells,  Olivier Messiaen,  Joseph Bonnet  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Laubach
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  • 11.
    Organ Ovations And Improvisations / Tom Trenney
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 870 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tom Trenney,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  Horatio Parker  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Trenney
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  • 12.
    A Glimpse Of Heaven / St. Martin's Chamber Choir
    Label: St. Martin's Chamber Choir   Catalog: 003 Release Date: 06/02/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Horatio Parker,  William Billings,  lionel pike,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Timothy J. Krueger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Martin's Chamber Choir
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  • 13.
    American Tone Poems - Coerne, Parker, Etc / Kruger, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9190 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Alden Carpenter,  Horatio Parker,  Edward Burlingame Hill,  Louis Coerne
    Conductor:  Karl Kruger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    American Musical Heritage Recordings - Macdowell, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9124 Release Date: 07/29/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Henry Hadley,  Arthur Farwell,  Victor Herbert,  Horatio Parker  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Krueger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Opus 190 - Frederick Hohman Plays Vintage Repertoire...
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7042 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Vierne,  Harry Rowe Shelley,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Pietro Yon  ... 
    Performer:  Frederick Hohman
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  • 16.
    American Reverie - Piano Music Of Horatio Parker / Kairoff
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 315 Release Date: 03/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Horatio Parker
    Performer:  Peter Kairoff
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  • 17.
    Malcolm Frager Plays American Piano Music
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80206 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edward MacDowell,  Horatio Parker,  Adolph Martin Foerster,  Henry F. Gilbert  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Frager
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 18.
    Sure On This Shining Night / Robert White, Samuel Sanders
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66920 Release Date: 04/10/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amy Marcy Beach,  John Musto,  Horatio Parker,  Victor Herbert  ... 
    Performer:  Robert White,  Samuel Sanders
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  • 19.
    As The Dew From Heaven Distilling - Parker & Thayer / Moyer
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 290 Release Date: 07/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joseph J. Daynes,  César Franck,  Charles Hubert Parry  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Moyer
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  • 20.
    Historic Organs Of Milwaukee
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 09/26/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Benoit, Paul, Dom,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  John Schwandt,  Stephen Cushman,  Michael B. Hoerig,  Thomas Murray  ... 
    On sale! $41.98
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  • 21.
    With Heart & Voice / Brian Jones, Ross Wood, Trinity Choir
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49071 Release Date: 07/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Sullivan,  Ross Wood,  Anne Harley,  Katharine Emory  ... 
    Conductor:  Brian Jones
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Trinity Church Choir
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  • 22.
    Three American Piano Trios - Heilman, Parker, Adler
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 107 Release Date: 03/02/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Adler,  Horatio Parker,  William Clifford Heilman
    Performer:  Dennis Ondrozeck,  Richard Rognstad,  David C. Neely
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rawlins Piano Trio
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  • 23.
    Parker: Hora Novissma, Organ Concerto / Levick, Krahn, Et Al
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 124/25 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Horatio Parker
    Performer:  Stephen Krahn,  Julie Simson,  Anna Soranno,  Kent Hall  ... 
    Conductor:  John Levick
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nebraska Chamber Orchestra,  Abendmusik Chorus,  Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir
    CD: $35.99
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  • 24.
    Fugues, Fantasia, And Variations - 19th Century... / Morris
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80280 Release Date: 10/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Elbridge Whiting,  John Knowles Paine,  Horatio Parker,  Whitney Eugene Thayer  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Morris
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 25.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 3 - Chopin, Liszt
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Constantin Sternberg,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Carl Tausig  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
    On sale! $34.98
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