Hubert Parry

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet (27 February 1848 – 7 October 1918) was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.

Parry's first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", his 1902 setting for 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.

After early attempts to work in insurance, at his father's behest, Parry was taken up by George Grove, first as 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. He wrote several books about music and music history, the best-known of which is probably his 1909 study of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Both in his lifetime and afterwards, Parry's reputation and critical standing have varied. His academic duties were considerable and prevented him from devoting all his energies to composition, but some contemporaries such as Charles Villiers Stanford rated him as the finest English composer since Henry Purcell; others, such as Frederick Delius, did not. Parry's influence on later composers, by contrast, is widely recognised. 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.

Hubert Parry
Hubert Parry c. 1916


Early years

Bournemouth Blue Plaques- No. 25 - Hubert Parry (geograph 4429939)
A blue Plaque marking Parry's birthplace at 2, Richmond Terrace, Bournemouth
Highnam Court MMB 08
Highnam Court, Gloucestershire, the family's country house

According to Bournemouth based music Historian, Gary Robertson, Parry was born in Bournemouth, the youngest of six children of (Thomas) Gambier Parry (1816–1888) and his first wife, Isabella née Fynes-Clinton (1816–1848), of Highnam Court, Gloucestershire. Gambier Parry, the son of Richard and Mary Parry, had been orphaned at the age of five and brought up by his maternal family, adopting their name, Gambier, as part of his surname.[1] Having inherited enormous wealth from his grandfather, Thomas Parry (a director of the East India Company who died in 1816), Gambier Parry was able to buy a country seat at Highnam Court, a seventeenth-century house near the River Severn and two miles west from Gloucester.[2]

Gambier Parry was an eminent collector of works of early Italian art at a time well before it was fashionable or widely known, and was also a painter and designer of some talent; he invented "Spirit fresco", a process of mural painting appropriate for the damp English climate,[3] which he used in his private chapel at Highnam as well as in Ely Cathedral.[4] Besides his love of painting, Gambier Parry was himself musical, having studied piano and French horn as well as composition during his education at Eton.[1] However, his advanced taste in the visual arts – he was a friend of John Ruskin and an admirer of Turner – did not transfer to his musical interests, which were highly conventional: Mendelssohn and Spohr were the limit of his appreciation for modern music. Nonetheless, he staunchly supported the Three Choirs Festival, both financially and against the threat of their closure between 1874 and 1875 by the puritanical Dean of Worcester.[5]

Three of Gambier Parry's children died in infancy, and Isabella Parry died of consumption, aged 32, twelve days after the birth of Hubert.[6] She was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter's, Bournemouth, where Hubert was baptised two days later. He grew up at Highnam with his surviving siblings, (Charles) Clinton (1840–83) and Lucy (1841–61). Thomas Parry remarried in 1851, and had a further six children.[7] Isabella's untimely death almost certainly affected her children, most obviously the eldest surviving son, Clinton, who was only seven when she died,[8] and, more subtly, Hubert: according to his daughter Dorothea (1876–1963), his stepmother Ethelinda's "love for the young ones", meaning her own children, gave her little or no time for her stepchildren.[9] Gambier Parry was often absent from home, being either away in London or on the Continent.[10] Hubert's early childhood, with Clinton away at school and Lucy seven years his senior, was largely solitary, his only regular companion being a governess.[11]

Clinton learned to play cello and piano, and his considerable musical talent became evident ahead of Hubert's. Yet despite their father's active interest in music, such activity was seen as a pastime, and was frowned upon as a career as being too uncertain and, unlike painting, a less than professional pursuit unseemly for a gentleman.[12][n 1] From January 1856 to the middle of 1858 Hubert attended a preparatory school in Malvern, from where he moved to Twyford Preparatory School in Hampshire.[13] At Twyford his interest in music was encouraged by the headmaster, and by two organists, S. S. Wesley at Winchester Cathedral, and Edward Brind, at Highnam church. From Wesley he gained an enduring love of Bach's music, which according to The Times "ultimately found expression in his most important literary work, Johann Sebastian Bach, the Story of the Development of a Great Composer (1909)".[14] Brind gave Parry piano and basic harmony lessons, and took him to the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford in 1861.[7] Among the choral works performed at that festival were Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mozart's Requiem, and Handel's Samson and Messiah. Orchestral works included Beethoven's Pastoral and Mendelssohn's Italian symphonies.[15] The experience left a great impression on Parry, and effectively marked the beginning of his lifelong association with the festival.[7]

Eton and the youngest BMus

Just as Parry left Twyford for Eton College in 1861, home life was clouded by Clinton's disgrace: after a promising start at Oxford, studying history and music, Clinton had been sent down for womanising, drinking and indulging in opium. During Parry's first term at Eton, further news came that his sister, Lucy, had died of consumption on 16 November. That Parry was deeply affected by this is evident in his 1864 diary where he confessed a profound sense of loss. Nonetheless, Parry threw himself into life at Eton with characteristic energy,[16] and distinguished himself at sport as well as music, despite early signs of the heart trouble that was to dog him for the rest of his life.[7] Meanwhile, Clinton, despite the intervention of his father to secure his return to Oxford, was sent down a further two times, the last irrevocably for not working; in 1863 Clinton left for Paris under a cloud. Though Parry never mentioned being under family pressure, his biographer, Jeremy Dibble, speculates that since "his interest in music had grown to such a point where it could no longer be ignored or thrown away ... the knowledge of his father’s opposition to a musical career, and having seen how such a denial had contributed to the rebellious nature of his brother's character, the burden of expectation must have seemed enormous."[17]

Eton was not at that time noted for its music, despite the interest of a number of its pupils. As there was no one at the school competent enough to advance Parry's studies in composition, he turned to George Elvey, the organist of St George's Chapel, Windsor, and began studies with him sometime in 1863.[18] Elvey was musically conservative, preferring Handel to Mendelssohn, and though Parry initially idolised his teacher,[19] he eventually realised how unadventurous he was compared to S. S. Wesley.[20] Parry nonetheless benefited from Elvey's tuition and gained the advantage of being able to write anthems for the choir of St George's Chapel, which under Elvey's direction had reached a standard exceptional in English choral singing of that time.[19] Elvey started his pupil on the contrapuntal disciplines of canon and fugue;[21] recognising his pupil's talent, he soon became ambitious to train him to a standard sufficient to earn the music degree at Oxford. He therefore introduced his student to the string quartets of Haydn and Mozart,[22] and ultimately to some of the rudiments of orchestration.[23] Meanwhile, Parry, on his own initiative, explored the orchestral scores of Beethoven, Weber, and his beloved Mendelssohn.[22] While still at Eton Parry successfully sat the Oxford Bachelor of Music examination, the youngest person who had ever done so.[7] His examination exercise, a cantata, O Lord, Thou hast cast us out, "astonished" the Heather Professor of Music, Sir Frederick Ouseley, and was triumphantly performed and published in 1867.[24]

In 1867 Parry left Eton and went up to Exeter College, Oxford.[14] He did not study music, being intended by his father for a commercial career, and instead read law and modern history. His musical concerns took second place during his time at Oxford, though during one summer holiday, acting on the advice of Wesley, he went to Stuttgart and studied with Henry Hugo Pierson.[25] As Parry recalled, Pierson's prime aim appeared to be "to disabuse me of Bach and Mendelssohn",[25] and he set Parry the task of reorchestrating works by Weber, Rossini and Beethoven, as well as some of Parry's own works.[26] Parry came back to England much more critical of Mendelssohn's music, and discovered more adventurous repertoire through attending concerts at London's Crystal Palace: he was particularly taken by Schumann's Second Symphony, with its "wildly glorious" Scherzo and the slow movement's "delicious" orchestration and "most wonderful ... modulation".[27] He went into raptures about Beethoven's Sixth and Eighth symphonies, confessing in his diary: "I can hardly bear to hear or smell a large work by Mendelssohn in the same week as a great work of dear old Beet." Yet, as Dibble notes, Mendelssohn's influence on Parry's own music persisted.[28]

Double harness

After leaving Oxford, Parry was an underwriter at Lloyd's of London from 1870 to 1877[29] He found the work uncongenial and wholly contrary to his talents and inclinations, but felt obliged to persevere with it, to satisfy not only his father, but his prospective parents-in-law. In 1872 he married Elizabeth Maude Herbert (1851–1933), second daughter of the politician Sidney Herbert and his wife Elizabeth. His in-laws agreed with his father in preferring a conventional career for him, although Parry proved as unsuccessful in insurance as he was successful in music.[14] He and his wife had two daughters, Dorothea and Gwendolen, named after George Eliot characters.[7][n 2]

Parry continued his musical studies alongside his work in insurance. In London he took lessons from William Sterndale Bennett, but finding them insufficiently demanding[n 3] he sought lessons from Johannes Brahms.[7] Brahms was not available, and Parry was recommended to the pianist Edward Dannreuther, "wisest and most sympathetic of teachers".[24] Dannreuther started by giving Parry piano lessons, but soon extended their studies to analysis and composition. At this stage in his musical development, Parry moved away from the classical traditions inspired by Mendelssohn. Dannreuther introduced him to the music of Wagner, which influenced his compositions of these years.[33]

At the same time as his compositions were coming to public notice, Parry was taken up as a musical scholar by George Grove, first as his assistant editor for his new Dictionary of Music and Musicians, to which post Parry was appointed in 1875 and contributed 123 articles. Among those who benefited from these writings was the young Edward Elgar; he did not attend a music college and, as he said in later life, had been most helped by Parry's articles.[34] In 1883, Grove, as the first director of the new Royal College of Music, appointed him as the college's professor of composition and musical history.[29]

Parry (back l.), in 1910 with Mackenzie (front c.), Stanford (front r.), Edward German (back r.) and Dan Godfrey

Parry's first major works appeared in 1880: a piano concerto, which Dannreuther premiered, and a choral setting of scenes from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound. The first performance of the latter has been held to mark the start of a "renaissance" in English music, but was regarded by many critics as too avant garde.[24] Parry scored a greater contemporary success with the ode Blest Pair of Sirens (1887), commissioned by and dedicated to Charles Villiers Stanford, one of the first British musicians to recognise Parry's talent. Stanford described Parry as the greatest English composer since Purcell.[24] Blest Pair of Sirens, a setting of Milton's "At a Solemn Musick", suggested as a text by Grove, established Parry as the leading English choral composer of his day; this had the drawback of bringing him a series of commissions for conventional oratorios, a genre with which he was not in sympathy.[29]

Peak years

Now well established as a composer and scholar, Parry received many commissions. Among them were choral works such as the Ode on Saint Cecilia's Day (1889), the oratorios Judith (1888) and Job (1892), the psalm-setting De Profundis (1891) and a lighter work, The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1905), described later as "a bubbling well of humour."[24] The biblical oratorios were well received by the public, but Parry's lack of sympathy with the form was mocked by Bernard Shaw, then writing musical criticism in London. He denounced Job as "the most utter failure ever achieved by a thoroughly respectworthy musician. There is not one bar in it that comes within fifty thousand miles of the tamest line in the poem."[35] Parry, along with Stanford and Alexander Mackenzie, was regarded by some as joint leader of the "English Musical Renaissance";[n 4] Shaw considered them a mutual admiration society,[38] purveying "sham classics"; reviewing Eden by Stanford in 1891 he wrote

But who am I that I should be believed, to the disparagement of eminent musicians? If you doubt that Eden is a masterpiece, ask Dr Parry and Dr Mackenzie, and they will applaud it to the skies. Surely Dr Mackenzie's opinion is conclusive; for is he not the composer of Veni Creator, guaranteed as excellent music by Professor Stanford and Dr Parry? You want to know who Parry is? Why, the composer of Blest Pair of Sirens, as to the merits of which you only have to consult Dr Mackenzie and Professor Stanford.[39]

Contemporary critics generally regarded Parry's orchestral music as of secondary importance in his output,[40] but in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries many of Parry's orchestral pieces have been revived. These include five symphonies, a set of Symphonic Variations in E minor, the Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy (1893) and the Elegy for Brahms (1897). In 1883 Parry wrote music to accompany the Cambridge Greek Play The Birds by Aristophanes, a production which starred the mediaevalist and ghost-story writer, M. R. James. Parry received an honorary degree from Cambridge University in the same year.[41] Subsequently, he wrote music for Oxford productions of Aristophanes: The Frogs (1892), The Clouds (1905) and The Acharnians (1914). He had also provided elaborate incidental music for a West End production by Beerbohm Tree, Hypatia (1893).[42] Among Parry's considerable output of music for the theatre, there was only one attempt at opera: Guenever, which was turned down by the Carl Rosa Opera Company.[7]

When Grove retired as director of the Royal College of Music, Parry succeeded him from January 1895 and held the post until his death. In 1900 he succeeded John Stainer as Heather Professor. In an obituary tribute in 1918 Robin Legge, music critic of The Daily Telegraph, lamented these academic calls on Parry's time, believing that they got in the way of his principal calling – composition. Ralph Vaughan Williams, who studied at the RCM under Parry, rated him highly as both composer and teacher. Of Parry in the latter capacity he wrote:

The secret of Parry's greatness as a teacher was his broad-minded sympathy; his was not that so called broadmindedness which comes of want of conviction; his musical antipathies were very strong, and sometimes, in the opinion of those who disagreed with them, unreasonable; but in appraising a composer's work he was able to set these on one side and see beyond them. And it was in this spirit that he examined the work of his pupils. A student's compositions are seldom of any intrinsic merit, and a teacher is apt to judge them on their face-value. But Parry looked further than this; he saw what lay behind the faulty utterance and made it his object to clear the obstacles that prevented fullness of musical speech. His watchword was "characteristic" – that was the thing which mattered.[44]

As head of the Royal College of Music, Parry numbered among his leading pupils Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Frank Bridge and John Ireland.[14]

Despite the demands of his academic posts Parry's personal beliefs, which were Darwinian and humanist, led him to compose a series of six "ethical cantatas", experimental works in which he hoped to supersede the traditional oratorio and cantata forms. They were generally unsuccessful with the public, though Elgar admired The Vision of Life (1907), and The Soul's Ransom (1906) has had several modern performances.[29]

Following the death of his stepmother, Ethelinda Lear Gambier-Parry, in 1896, Parry succeeded to the family estate at Highnam.[45] He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1898.[7] It was announced that he would receive a baronetcy in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902 for the (subsequently postponed) coronation of King Edward VII,[46] and on 24 July 1902 he was created a Baronet, of Highnam Court, in the parish of Highnam, in the county of Gloucester.[47]

Last years

Parry shown on a 1914 cigarette card
Memorial to Hubert Parry in Gloucester Cathedral
Memorial to Hubert Parry in Gloucester Cathedral. Inscription by Robert Bridges

Parry resigned his Oxford appointment on medical advice in 1908 and, in the last decade of his life, produced some of his best-known works, including the Symphonic Fantasia 1912 (also called Symphony No. 5), the Ode on the Nativity (1912) and the Songs of Farewell (1916–1918). The piece by which he is best known, the setting of William Blake's poem "And did those feet in ancient time" (1916), was immediately taken up by the suffragist movement, with which both Parry and his wife were strongly in sympathy.[7]

Parry held German music and its traditions to be the pinnacle of music, and was a friend of German culture in general. He was, accordingly, certain that Britain and Germany would never go to war against each other, and was in despair when World War I broke out. In the words of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: "During the war he watched a life's work of progress and education being wiped away as the male population, particularly the new fertile generation of composing talent—of the Royal College, dwindled."

In the autumn of 1918 Parry contracted Spanish flu during the global pandemic and died at Knightscroft, Rustington, West Sussex, on 7 October aged 70. The death certificate says cause of death: 1.Influenza 2. Septicaemia. His daughter, Gwendoline Maud Greene, was present at his death.[48] At the urging of Stanford, he was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. The site of his birthplace, in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, next door to the Square, is marked with a blue plaque; there is a memorial tablet, with an inscription by the Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges, in Gloucester Cathedral, unveiled during the Three Choirs Festival of 1922.[7] Parry's baronetcy became extinct at his death. Highnam passed to his half-brother, Major Ernest Gambier-Parry.[45]


In May 2015 seventy unpublished works by Parry came to light after being hidden away in a family archive for decades. It is thought that some may have never previously been performed in public.[49] The documents, expected to fetch £50,000, were sold by auction on 19 and 20 May at Chorley's Auctioneers at Prinknash Abbey Park.[50][51]



Parry's biographer Jeremy Dibble writes:

Parry's musical style is a complex aggregate reflecting his assimilation of indigenous as well as continental traditions. Trained in the organ loft during his schooldays and educated through the degree system of the ancient universities, he had imbibed fully the aesthetics of Anglican church music and the oratorio-centred repertory of the provincial music festivals by the age of 18.[29]

Many colleagues and critics have concluded that Parry's music is that of a conventional and not strongly creative Englishman. Delius said of him, "How a man rolling in wealth, the lord of many acres & living off the fat of the land can write anything about Job beats me entirely"[52] and in 1948 Bax, who was unaware of Parry's radical politics, wrote, "Parry, Stanford, Mackenzie – they were all three solid reputable citizens ... model husbands and fathers without a doubt, respected members of the most irreproachably Conservative clubs, and in Yeats's phrase had 'no strange friend'. Of this I am sure."[53] The view of Parry taken by Bax and Bernard Shaw was contradicted by his daughter Dorothea in 1956:

This fantastic legend about my father ... that he was conventional, a conservative squire, a sportsman, a churchman, and with no "strange friend" ... My father was the most naturally unconventional man I have known. He was a Radical, with a very strong bias against Conservatism ... He was a free-thinker and did not go to my christening. He never shot, not because he was against blood-sports, but felt out of touch and ill at ease in the company of those who enjoyed shooting parties. His friends, apart from his schoolfriends, were mostly in the artistic and literary world ... He was an ascetic and spent nothing on himself. The puritanical vein in him is considered by some to spoil his music, as tending to lack of colour. Far from its being an advantage to be the son of a Gloucestershire squire, my father's early life was a fight against prejudice. His father thought music unsuitable as a profession, and the critics of music in the mid-nineteenth century showed no mercy to anyone they considered privileged. My father was sensitive, and suffered from bouts of deep depression. The extraordinary misinterpretation of him that exists should not persist.[54]

Sir Hurbert Parry in Rustington
Plaque for Parry in Rustington

In an analysis of Parry's compositional process, Michael Allis draws attention to a widely held but inaccurate belief that Parry was a facile composer who dashed off new works without effort. He quotes the mid-20th century critics H C Colles and Eric Blom as equating Parry's supposed facility with superficiality.[55] Allis also quotes Parry's diary, which regularly recorded his difficulties in composition: "struggled along with the Symphony", "thoroughly terrible and wearing grind over the revisions", "stuck fast" and so on.[56] Parry himself is partly responsible for another belief about his music, that he was neither interested in nor good at orchestration. In a lecture at the RCM he was censorious of Berlioz who, in Parry's view, disguised commonplace musical ideas by glittering orchestration: "When divested of its amazingly variegated colour the ideas themselves do not convince us or exert much fascination."[57] Bax and others took this to mean that Parry (and Stanford and Mackenzie) "regarded sensuous beauty of orchestral sound as not quite nice".[58] In 2001, the American writers Nicholas Slonimsky and Laura Kuhn took the view: "In his orchestral music, Parry played a significant role in the fostering of the British symphonic tradition. While his orchestral works owe much to the German Romanticists, particularly Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms, he nevertheless developed a personal style notable for its fine craftsmanship and mastery of diatonic writing. His 5 [symphonies] reveal a growing assurance in handling large forms. He also wrote some effective incidental music and fine chamber pieces."[59]

The early influence of Wagner on Parry's music can be heard in the Concertstück for orchestra (1877), the overture Guillem de Cabestanh (1878), and especially in Scenes from Prometheus Unbound (1880).[29] Dibble notes a more thoroughly absorbed Wagnerian influence in Blest Pair of Sirens, and points to the influence of Brahms on such works as the Piano Quartet in A flat (1879) and the Piano Trio in B minor (1884).[29]

Books on music

Parry wrote about music throughout his adult life. As well as his 123 articles in Grove's Dictionary, his publications include Studies of Great Composers (1886); The Art of Music (1893) enlarged as The Evolution of the Art of Music (1896); The Music of the Seventeenth Century, (Volume III of the Oxford History of Music (1902); Johann Sebastian Bach: the Story of the Development of a Great Personality (1909), rated by The Times as his most important book; and Style in Musical Art, collected Oxford lectures (1911).[29]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Clinton's musical talent developed further during his time at Eton, though his surviving diary records his severe depression following his father's disapproval of both his musical activity and, more seriously, his loss of religious faith. His musical ambitions increased further as a student at the University of Oxford: his time there started auspiciously with his performing several times before the Prince of Wales, including a number of his own compositions.[8]
  2. ^ The elder daughter, Dorothea (1876–1963), married the politician Arthur Ponsonby in 1898, and had a son and a daughter.[30] The younger daughter, Gwendolen Maud (1878–1959) married the baritone Harry Plunket Greene (1865–1936) and had two sons and a daughter.[31]
  3. ^ Parry wrote, "He was kind and sympathetic, but he was too sensitive ever to criticize".[32]
  4. ^ The term originated in an article by the critic Joseph Bennett in 1882. In his review in The Daily Telegraph of Parry's First Symphony he wrote that the work gave "capital proof that English music has arrived at a renaissance period."[36] J A Fuller Maitland, chief music critic to The Times, became the most assiduous proponent of the theory, in his 1902 book English Music in the XIXth Century.[37]
  1. ^ a b Dibble, p. 4
  2. ^ Dibble, pp. 4–5
  3. ^ Dibble, p. 8
  4. ^ Fuller Maitland, J A. "Hubert Parry", The Musical Quarterly, Volume 4, No 3, July 1919, pp. 299–307
  5. ^ Dibble, p. 9
  6. ^ Dibble, p. 3
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Dibble, Jeremy, "Parry, Sir (Charles) Hubert Hastings, baronet (1848–1918)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 18 April 2013 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  8. ^ a b Dibble, p. 17
  9. ^ Benoliel, pp. 4–5
  10. ^ Dibble, p. 14; and Benoliel, p. 4
  11. ^ Dibble, p. 14
  12. ^ Dibble, p. 13
  13. ^ Dibble, p. 16
  14. ^ a b c d "Death of Sir Hubert Parry", The Times, 8 October 1918, p. 6
  15. ^ "Hereford Music Festival", The Times, 10 September 1861, p. 10
  16. ^ Dibble, p. 19
  17. ^ Dibble, p. 22
  18. ^ Dibble, pp. 22–25
  19. ^ a b Dibble, pp. 24–25
  20. ^ Dibble, pp. 36–37
  21. ^ Dibble, p. 25
  22. ^ a b Dibble, p. 34
  23. ^ Dibble, p. 37
  24. ^ a b c d e Hadow, Sir William, "Sir Hubert Parry", Proceedings of the Musical Association, 45th Session (1918–1919), pp. 135–147, accessed 18 April 2013 (subscription required)
  25. ^ a b Dibble, p. 52
  26. ^ Dibble, p. 53
  27. ^ Dibble, p. 57
  28. ^ Dibble, p. 58
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Dibble, Jeremy. "Parry, Sir (Charles) Hubert (Hastings)" Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press (subscription required), accessed 18 April 2013
  30. ^ "Dorothea Parry", W. H. Auden – Family Ghosts, Stanford University, accessed 18 April 2013
  31. ^ "Gwendolen Maud Parry", W. H. Auden – Family Ghosts, Stanford University, accessed 18 April 2013
  32. ^ Dibble, pp. 77–78
  33. ^ Allis, pp. 20–23
  34. ^ Reed, p. 11
  35. ^ The World, 3 May 1893
  36. ^ Eatock, p. 88
  37. ^ Burton, Nigel. "Sullivan Reassessed: See How the Fates", The Musical Times, Vol. 141, No. 1873 (Winter, 2000), pp. 15–22 (subscription required)
  38. ^ Eatock, p. 90
  39. ^ Shaw, p. 429
  40. ^ See Hadow, and The Times obituary
  41. ^ "Parry, Charles Hubert Hastings (PRY883CH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  42. ^ Dibble, pp. 292, 403, 467 and 305
  43. ^ Legge, Robin H. "Charles Hubert Hastings Parry", The Musical Times, 1 November 1918, pp. 489–491
  44. ^ Vaughan Williams, p. 296
  45. ^ a b "Highnam Court, Gloucester, England". Parks and Gardens UK. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  46. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  47. ^ "No. 27457". The London Gazette. 25 July 1902. p. 4738.
  48. ^ Copy death certificate
  49. ^ "Sir Hubert Parry's earliest works discovered". BBC News. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  50. ^ Elliott, Valerie (22 March 2015). "'Jerusalem' composer's first recital...150 years on: Prince Charles to attend premiere of previously unplayed works before auction". Mail Online. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  51. ^ "Latest News". Chorley's Auctioneers. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  52. ^ Carley, p. 24
  53. ^ Bax, p. 28, quoted in Allis, p. 17
  54. ^ Ponsonby, Dorothea."Hubert Parry", The Musical Times, Vol. 97, No. 1359, May 1956, p. 263 (subscription required)
  55. ^ Allis, p. 19
  56. ^ Allis, p. 20
  57. ^ Allis, p. 111
  58. ^ Bax, p. 28, quoted in Allis, p. 111
  59. ^ Slonimsky and Kuhn, p. 2752


  • Allis, Michael (2002). Parry's Creative Process. Aldershot, Hants ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate. ISBN 1840146818.
  • Bax, Arnold (1943). Farewell, My Youth. London: Longmans, Green and Co. OCLC 462380567.
  • Benoliel, Bernard (1997). Parry before Jerusalem. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0859679276.
  • Boden, Anthony (1998). The Parrys of the Golden Vale. London: Thames Publishing. ISBN 0905210727.
  • Carley, Lionel. Delius, a Life in Letters, Volume II, 1909–1934. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674195701.
  • Dibble, Jeremy (1992). C. Hubert H. Parry: His Life and Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0193153300.
  • Eatock, Colin (2010). "The Crystal Palace Concerts: Canon Formation and the English Musical Renaissance". 19th-Century Music. 34 (1): 87–105. doi:10.1525/ncm.2010.34.1.087. ISSN 0148-2076.
  • Reed, W H (1946). Elgar. London: Dent. OCLC 8858707.
  • Shaw, Bernard; Dan H Laurence (ed) (1989). Shaw's Music – The Complete Music Criticism of Bernard Shaw, Volume 2. London: The Bodley Head. ISBN 0370312716.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Slonimsky, Nicholas; Laura Kuhn (eds) (2001). Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, vol. 4. New York: Schirmer Reference. ISBN 0028655281.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Vaughan Williams, Ralph; David Manning (ed) (2007). Vaughan Williams on Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199720401.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

External links

And did those feet in ancient time

"And did those feet in ancient time" is a poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton: A Poem in Two Books, one of a collection of writings known as the Prophetic Books. The date of 1804 on the title page is probably when the plates were begun, but the poem was printed c. 1808. Today it is best known as the hymn "Jerusalem", with music written by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916. It is not to be confused with another poem, much longer and larger in scope, but also by Blake, called Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion.

The poem was inspired by the apocryphal story that a young Jesus, accompanied by Joseph of Arimathea, a tin merchant, travelled to what is now England and visited Glastonbury during his unknown years. The poem's theme is linked to the Book of Revelation (3:12 and 21:2) describing a Second Coming, wherein Jesus establishes a New Jerusalem. Churches in general, and the Church of England in particular, have long used Jerusalem as a metaphor for Heaven, a place of universal love and peace.In the most common interpretation of the poem, Blake implies that a visit by Jesus would briefly create heaven in England, in contrast to the "dark Satanic Mills" of the Industrial Revolution. Blake's poem asks four questions rather than asserting the historical truth of Christ's visit. Thus the poem merely implies that there may have been a divine visit, when there was briefly heaven in England.

Beati quorum via (Stanford)

Beati quorum via (Blessed are those whose way), Op. 38, No. 3, is a motet for mixed unaccompanied six-part choir by Charles Villiers Stanford, a setting of the first verse of Psalm 119 in Latin. It is the last of Stanford's Three Latin Motets, published in 1905.

Stanford composed it at the end of the 19th century when he was a teacher at the Royal College of Music in London. Paul J. Rodmell wrote in his review of R. J. Stowe's book Stanford education: "his finest unaccompanied motets, such as Beati quorum via, attain neo-Brucknerian sublimity", comparing Stanford's work to that of Hubert Parry and Anton Bruckner.

Blest Pair of Sirens

Blest Pair of Sirens is a short work for choir and orchestra by the English composer Hubert Parry, setting John Milton's ode At a solemn Musick. It was first performed at St James's Hall, London on 17 May 1887, conducted by its dedicatee, Charles Villiers Stanford. The piece is about 11 minutes in duration.

Cello Sonata (Parry)

The Sonata for Violoncello and Piano in A major by Hubert Parry is a sonata for cello and piano composed between 1879 and 1880, but not published until 1883.

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" is a hymn with words taken from a longer poem, The Brewing of Soma by American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier. The adaptation was made by Garrett Horder in his 1884 Congregational Hymns.In the United Kingdom, the hymn is usually sung to the tune "Repton" by Hubert Parry. In the US, the prevalent tune is "Rest" by Frederick Charles Maker.

Elegy for Brahms

The Elegy for Brahms is a short symphonic movement for orchestra, written by Hubert Parry in 1897. It was written shortly after the death of Johannes Brahms, whom Parry considered the greatest artist of the time.The Elegy is in the key of A minor, and is marked Maestoso espressivo - Largamente - Tempo primo. The work quotes Brahms's music in several places.The work was not performed in Parry's lifetime. Following his own death in October 1918, it was performed at a memorial concert for him at the Royal College of Music on 8 November 1918, conducted by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, who had slightly revised the work.It did not receive its second performance until 1977.It has received recordings conducted by Sir Adrian Boult and Matthias Bamert.

Frankfurt Group

The Frankfurt Group, also called the Frankfurt Gang or the Frankfurt Five, was a group of English-speaking composers and friends who studied composition under Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main in the late 1890s. The group included Balfour Gardiner, Roger Quilter, Norman O'Neill and Cyril Scott, who were all English, and Percy Grainger, who was born in Australia and established himself as a composer in England between 1901 and 1914 before moving to the United States. Although they did not study in Frankfurt all at the same time they remained close friends from their student days onwards.Knorr, though German-born, was strongly influenced by Russian music and was a believer in fostering the individuality of his pupils. The Frankfurt group were united more by their friendship and their non-conformity than by any common aim, though they did share a dislike of Beethoven, and a resistance to the musical nationalism of the self-styled English Musical Renaissance of Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford, and of the later English Pastoral School of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. The group was distinguished by its rebelliousness, and by studying abroad they stood apart from the conservative wider English musical establishment.Grainger described the group as Pre-Raphaelite composers, arguing that they were musically distinguished from other British composers by "an excessive emotionality ... particularly a tragic or sentimental or wistful or pathetic emotionality", reached through a focus on chords rather than musical architecture or "the truly English qualities of grandeur, hopefulness and glory". Most rebellious were Grainger and Scott, whose music often crossed the boundaries of accepted musical convention. Scott's work for a time gave up the use of bars and time signatures, while employing dissonant harmonies and highly individual orchestration.

George Dyson (composer)

Sir George Dyson KCVO (28 May 1883 – 28 September 1964) was an English musician and composer. After studying at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, and army service in the First World War, he was a schoolmaster and college lecturer. In 1938 he became director of the RCM, the first of its alumni to do so. As director he instituted financial and organisational reforms and steered the college through the difficult days of the Second World War.

As a composer Dyson wrote in a traditional idiom, reflecting the influence of his mentors at the RCM, Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford. His works were well known during his lifetime but underwent a period of neglect before being revived in the late 20th century.

I was glad

"I was glad" (Latin incipit, "Laetatus sum") is a choral introit which is a popular piece in the musical repertoire of the Anglican church. It is traditionally sung in the Church of England as an anthem at the Coronation of the British monarch.

The text consists of verses from Psalm 122. Numerous composers have set the words to music, among them Henry Purcell and William Boyce; its most famous setting was written in 1902 by Sir Hubert Parry, which sets only verses 1–3, 6, and 7.

John Bridcut

John Bridcut is an English documentary filmmaker, best known for his films about British composers. His most famous work, Britten's Children (2004), is a study of the influence that Benjamin Britten's close relationships with children had on the composer and material from the documentary was later made into a book (2006).He has also created documentaries about Ralph Vaughan Williams (The Passions of Vaughan Williams, 2008), Edward Elgar (The Man Behind the Mask, 2010) and Hubert Parry (The Prince and the Composer, 2011), the latter a collaboration with Charles, Prince of Wales, whom he had earlier profiled in Charles at 60: The Passionate Prince.

In November 2018, after being given 12 months exclusive access to Charles, Prince of Wales, Bridcut's film Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70 was first aired by the BBC. Other documentaries by Bridcut include studies of Queen Elizabeth II, Rudolf Nureyev, Roald Dahl and Hillary Clinton.

Leslie Heward

Leslie Hays Heward (8 December 1897 – 3 May 1943) was an English composer and conductor. Between 1930 and 1942 he was the Music Director of the City of Birmingham Orchestra.Heward was born in Liversedge, Yorkshire, the son of a railway porter and organist. He showed remarkable musical promise as a child. By the age of two he was playing the piano, by the age of four he was playing the organ, and by the age of eight he was accompanying a performance of Handel's Messiah on the organ in Bradford. In 1917 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. There he was one of the first pupils in Adrian Boult's conducting class, and was described by Hubert Parry as "the kind of phenomenon that appears once in a generation".He conducted the first performance (1938) and the first recording (1942) of Ernest John Moeran's Symphony in G minor.

List of compositions by Hubert Parry

This is a list of compositions by the English composer Hubert Parry (1848–1918). Dates of composition are indicated by "c.", and of publication by "p."

Ode to Newfoundland

"Ode to Newfoundland" is the official provincial anthem of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was composed by Governor Sir Cavendish Boyle in 1902 as a four-verse poem titled Newfoundland. On December 22, 1902 it was sung by Frances Daisy Foster at the Casino Theatre of St. John's during the closing of the play Mamzelle. The original score was set to the music of E. R. Krippner, a German bandmaster living in St. John's but Boyle desired a more dignified score. It was then set to the music of British composer Sir Hubert Parry, a personal friend of Boyle, who composed two settings. On May 20, 1904 it was chosen as Newfoundland's official national anthem (national being understood as a self-governing Dominion of the British Empire on par with Canada, South Africa, Australia and other former British colonies). This distinction was dropped when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. Three decades later, in 1980, the province re-adopted the song as an official provincial anthem, the first province to do so. The "Ode to Newfoundland" is still sung at public events to this day as a tradition. Traditionally only the first and last verse is sung.

Part song

A part song, part-song or partsong is a form of choral music that consists of a secular (vs. ecclesiastical) song written or arranged for several vocal parts. Part songs are commonly sung by an SATB choir, but sometimes for an all-male or all-female ensemble. This music is usually homophonic, meaning that the highest part carries the melody and the other voices or parts supply the accompanying harmonies, in contrast to songs that are contrapuntal, as are madrigals. Part songs are intended to be sung a cappella, that is without accompaniment, unless an instrumental accompaniment is particularly specified.

The part song in was created in Great Britain, first growing from, and then gradually superseding, the earlier form of glee, as well as being particularly influenced by the choral works of Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847). This was linked with the growth of choral societies during the 19th century which were larger groups than glee clubs had been.

Early British composers of part songs include John Liptrot Hatton, R. J. S. Stevens, Henry Smart and George Alexander Macfarren, who was renowned for his Shakespearean settings. Around the turn of the 20th century in the heyday of the part song, Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford and Edward Elgar were the principal exponents, often bringing a high-minded seriousness to their settings of great English poetry both contemporary and from earlier epochs. More recent major contributors to the genre include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Granville Bantock, Arnold Bax, Peter Warlock, Gustav Holst and Benjamin Britten. The development of the part song has been marked by increasing complexity of form, and contrapuntal content.Composers have also successfully used the part song medium to make contemporary arrangements of traditional folk songs, including those of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

Piano Sonata No. 1 (Beethoven)

Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1, was written in 1795 and dedicated to Joseph Haydn. A typical performance of the entire work lasts about 17 to 20 minutes.

Tovey wrote, "Sir Hubert Parry has aptly compared the opening of [this sonata] with that of the finale of Mozart's G minor symphony to show how much closer Beethoven's texture is. The slow movement ... well illustrates the rare cases in which Beethoven imitates Mozart to the detriment of his own proper richness of tone and thought, while the finale in its central episode brings a misapplied and somewhat diffuse structure in Mozart's style into a direct conflict with themes as Beethovenish in their terseness as in their sombre passion".

Songs of Farewell

Songs of Farewell is a set of six choral motets by the British composer Hubert Parry. The pieces were composed between 1916 and 1918 and were among his last compositions before his death.

String Quartet No. 3 (Parry)

Parry's String Quartet in G major was composed in 1878, the year before he composed his Piano Quintet and Cello Sonata, first performed in 1880, the work remained unpublished during the composers lifetime and was considered lost until it was discovered amongst Gerald Finzi's papers in the 1990s.

The Prince and the Composer

The Prince and the Composer: A Film about Hubert Parry by HRH The Prince of Wales is a 2011 documentary film presented by Charles, Prince of Wales about the music and life of the composer Sir Hubert Parry. The documentary was directed by John Bridcut and was first broadcast on BBC Four on 27 May 2011.In the film, the Prince explores his love of the music of Parry, explaining that there is much more to the composer than Jerusalem and I was glad, as he travels around Britain retracing places that were important to the composer and discovering more about the man and his works. In the film, he travels to significant places in Parry's life; Highnam Court, Shulbrede Priory and hears performances of his lesser-known works such as a rare performance of his Fifth Symphony at the BBC Proms.

Wind Nonet (Parry)

Hubert Parry's Nonet in B-flat major for nine wind instruments is a composition for chamber ensamble composed around 1877. Not performed in the composers lifetime, it remained unpublished until 1988 when Edition Compusic published the work under the posthumous opus number 70.

Directors of the Royal College of Music

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