Parry, Sir C(harles) Hubert H(astings)

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Parry, Sir C(harles) Hubert H(astings)

Parry, Sir C(harles) Hubert H(astings), eminent English composer, pedagogue, and writer on music; b. Bournemouth, Feb. 27, 1848; d. Rustington, Oct. 7, 1918. While attending a preparatory school in Twyford, near Winchester, he began piano lessons with a local organist. He then had training in piano, harmony, and counterpoint with Edward Brind, the organist at High-nam Church. In 1861 he entered Eton, where he became active in its musical society. During this time, he also had composition lessons with George Elvey, organist at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. In 1866 he took his B.Mus. exercise at New Coll., Oxford, with his cantata O Lord, Thou hast cast us out. In 1867 he entered Exeter Coll., Oxford, to study law and history. During the summer of that year, he pursued training in instrumentation and composition with Pierson in Stuttgart. After graduating from Exeter Coll. in 1870, he had a few lessons with Sterndale Bennett. Between 1873 and 1877 he was engaged in business in London, but he also pursued training in piano with Dannreuther (from 1873) and in composition with Macfarren (1875–77). In 1875 Grove made him sub-editor of his Dictionary of Music and Musicians, to which Parry contributed a number of the major articles. In 1883 he was named prof. of music history at the newly organized Royal Coll. of Music in London and was awarded an honorary Doc.Mus. from Trinity Coll., Cambridge. In 1884 he was elected Chora-gus at the Univ. of Oxford, where he received an honorary doctorate. In 1894 Parry was elevated to the directorship of the Royal Coll. of Music, a position he retained with distinction for the rest of his life. He also served as the Heather Prof. of Music at the Univ. of Oxford from 1900 to 1908. In 1898 he was knighted and in 1905 he was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Parry secured his reputation as a composer with his distinguished choral ode At a Solemn Music: Blest Pair of Sirens (1887). There followed a series of ethical choral works in which he attempted to build upon the British choral tradition. His coronation anthem I was glad (1902) is a masterwork in the genre. Also notable is his Ode on the Nativity (1910). His unison song Jerusalem (1916) quickly established itself as a national song. Among his other fine works are his Songs of Farewell and his collections of English Lyrics. 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 syms. reveal a growing assurance in handling large forms. He also wrote some effective incidental music and fine chamber pieces.


(all publ. in London unless otherwise given): Studies of the Great Composers (1887); The Art of Music (1893; enl. ed., 1896, as The Evolution of the Art of Music); Summary of the History and Development of Medieval and Modern European Music (1893; 2nd ed., 1904); The Music of the Seventeenth Century, vol. III of The Oxford History of Music (1902); Johann Sebastian Bach (1910); Style in Musical Art (1911); Instinct and Character (c. 1915–18; MS); H. Colles, ed., College Addresses (1920).


dramatic: Opera: Guenever (1886). ballet:Proserpine (London, June 25, 1912).Incidental Music To: Aristophanes’ The Birds (Cambridge, Nov. 27, 1883; rev. 1903); Aristophanes’ The Frogs (Oxford, Feb. 24, 1892; rev. version, Oxford, Feb. 19, 1909); S. Ogilvie’s Hypatia (London, Jan. 2, 1893; orch. suite, London, March 9, 1893); P. Craigie’s A Repentance (London, Feb. 28, 1899); Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (London, Nov. 16, 1900); Aristophanes’ The Clouds (Oxford, March 1, 1905); Aristophanes’ The Acharnians (Oxford, Feb. 21,1914). orch.:Allegretto Scherzando (1867); Intermezzo Religioso (Gloucester, Sept. 3, 1868); Vivien, overture (1873); Concertstück (1877); Piano Concerto (1878–80; London, April 3, 1880; rev. 1895); Guülem de Cabestanh, overture (London, March 15, 1879); 5 syms.: No. 1, in G major (1880–82; Birmingham, Aug. 31, 1882), No. 2, in F major, Cambridge (Cambridge, June 12, 1883; rev. version, London, June 6, 1887; 2nd rev. version, London, May 30, 1895), No. 3, in C major, English (London, May 23, 1889; rev. version, Leeds, Jan. 30, 1895; 3rd rev. version, Bournemouth, Dec. 18, 1902), No. 4, in Eminor (London, July 1, 1889; rev. version, London, Feb. 10, 1910), and No. 5, Symphonic Fantasia 1912 (London, Dec. 5, 1912); Suite Moderne or Suite Symphonique (Gloucester, Sept. 9, 1886; rev. 1892); An English Suite for Strings (1890–1918; London, Oct. 20, 1922); Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy (Worcester, Sept. 13, 1893; rev. 1897 and 1905); Lady Radnor Suite for Strings (London, June 29, 1894; also for Piano, 1905, and for Violin and Piano, 1915); Elegy for Brahms (1897; London, Nov. 9, 1918); Symphonic Variations (London, June 3, 1897); From Death to Life, symphonic poem (Brighton, Nov. 12, 1914). wind band:Foolish Fantasia (n.d.). chamber: 3 movements for Violin and Piano (1863); 2 string quartets (1867, c. 1879); 2 Duettinos for Cello and Piano (1868); Short Trios for Violin, Viola, and Piano (1868); Freundschaftslieder, 6 pieces for Violin and Piano (1872); 3 violin sonatas (1875; Fantasie Sonate, 1878; 1889, rev. 1894); Nonet for Winds (1877); 3 piano trios (1878, 1884, 1890); Piano Quartet (1879); Cello Sonata (1880); String Quintet (1884; rev. 1896 and 1902); Partita for Violin and Piano (1886); 12 Short Pieces for Violin and Piano (1895); Piece for Violin and Piano (1896); Romance for Violin and Piano (1896); 2 suites for Violin and Piano (1907, 1907). keyboard: piano:4 fugues (1865); Andante non troppo (1865); Overture for Piano Duet (1865); Sonata for Piano Duet (1865); Andante (1867); Sonnets and Songs Without Words, 3 sets (1868; 1867–75; 1870–77); 7 Charakterbilder (1872); Variations on an air by Bach (1873–75); Grosses Duo for 2 Pianos (1875–77); 2 sonatas (1877; 1876–77); Theme and 19 Variations (1878); Shulbrede Tunes (1914); Hands across the Centuries, suite (1918). Organ: Fugue (1865); Fantasia and Fugue (1877; new Fantasia, 1882; new Fugue, 1912); Chorale Preludes, 2 sets (1912,1916); Toccata and Fugue, Wanderer (1912–18); Elegy (1913); 3 Chorale Fantasias (1915). vocal: choral (all with orch. unless otherwise given): O Lord, Thou hast cast us out, cantata (Eton Coll., Dec. 8, 1867); Scenes from Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound”, dramatic cantata (Gloucester, Sept. 7, 1880; rev. 1881 and 1885); The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses: The Glories of Our Blood and State, ode (Gloucester, Sept. 4,1883; rev. 1908 and 1914); At a Solemn Music: Blest Pair of Sirens, ode (London, May 17, 1887); Judith or The Regeneration of Manasseh, oratorio (Birmingham, Aug. 29, 1888); Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day, ode (Leeds, Oct. 11, 1889); L’Allegro ed II Penseroso, cantata (Norwich, Oct. 15, 1890; rev. 1909); Eton, ode (Eton Coll., June 28, 1891); De Profundis (Hereford, Sept. 10, 1891); The Lotos-Eaters, choric song (Cambridge, June 13, 1892); Job, oratorio (Gloucester, Sept. 8, 1892); Hear my words ye people, anthem for Chorus, Organ, Brass, and Timpani (Salisbury Cathedral, May 10, 1894); King Saul, oratorio (Birmingham, Oct. 3, 1894); Invocation to Music, ode (Leeds, Oct. 2, 1895); Magnificat (Hereford, Sept. 15, 1897); A Song of Darkness and Light (Gloucester, Sept. 15, 1898); Thanksgiving Te Deum (Latin version, Hereford, Sept. 1900; Eng. version, rev, Gloucester, Sept. 11, 1913); Ode to Music (London, June 13, 1901); Í was glad, coronation anthem (London, Aug. 9,1902; rev. version, London, June 23,1911); Warand Peace, symphonic ode (London, April 30, 1903); Voces Clamantium, motet (Hereford, Sept. 10, 1903); The love that casteth out fear, sinfonia sacra (Gloucester, Sept. 7, 1904); The Pied Piper ofHamelin, cantata (Norwich, Oct. 26, 1905; rev. 1910); The Soul’s Ransom: A Psalm of the Poor, sinfonia sacra (Hereford, Sept. 12, 1906); The Vision of Life, symphonic poem (Cardiff, Sept. 26, 1907; rev. 1914); Beyond these voices there is peace, motet (Worcester, Sept. 9, 1908); Eton Memorial Ode (Eton Coll., Nov. 18, 1908); Coronation Te Deum (London, June 23, 1911); Ode on the Nativity (Hereford, Sept. 12, 1912); God is our hope (London, April 24, 1913); The Chivalry of the Sea, naval ode (London, Dec. 12, 1916). liturgical: Te Deum (c. 1864); Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (1864); Te Deum and Benedictus (1868); Communion, Morning, and Evening Services (1869); Te Deum (1873); Evening Service (1881); 10 anthems; 28 hymns, etc. other: Part songs; unison songs, including the famous Jerusalem (1916); numerous solo songs, including 12 sets of English Lyrics (publ. 1885–1920); Songs of Farewell, 6 motets (1916–17).


C. Graves, H. P.: His Life and Works (2 vols., London, 1926); J. Dibble, C. H. H. P.: His Life and Music (Oxford, 1992); B. Benoliel, P. Before Jerusalem: Studies of His Life and Music With Excerpts From His Published Writings (Aldershot, 1997).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire