Author Topic: Parry  (Read 12247 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Parry
« Reply #60 on: May 25, 2018, 05:13:57 AM »
Well, that's very interesting news cilgwyn. Thank you for alerting us. Maybe I'm one of the ones you have lined up as only liking the Fifth, although I like No.4 as well. A former colleague things it's Parry's masterpiece. My favourite work by Parry is the Symphonic Variations which I actually prefer to the Enigma Variations, probably as a result of the latter being over-familiar to me.

To the bolded text: :o
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Parry
« Reply #61 on: May 25, 2018, 06:08:08 AM »
To the bolded text: :o

The EV are the greater work but I enjoy the SV more.
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Parry
« Reply #62 on: May 25, 2018, 06:12:21 AM »
So you might buy this?!! I'd buy a copy of Gramophone to read the article on Parry,but I could buy a s/h cd for the price of that magazine! It's "original" five movement form? It does sound intriguing? I'm sure Parry knew what he was doing if he excised it;but then you prefer the earlier version of VW's London Symphony (Which one,I don't know? I find the different versions very confusing?!! ???) There's the Hickox "one off",the Dan Godfrey and a Goossen's recording,I believe,that I've never heard!! My head's spinning!! ??? ::) ;D There's also, Langgaard's Fifth in it's earlier form! Composer's aren't always right,it seems! And I'm never quite happy with anything I do!!  Yes,I like all the Parry symphonies. I remember in the original notes,with the Forlane recording of Parry's Third,Bernard Benoliel referred to Parry's Second Symphony,dismissively, as being (I can't recall his exact words) as being rather academic and dull. In his notes with Chandos' premiere recording he seemed to have,with minor reservations,revised his opinion. After actually having heard it being played,I thought! ::) (I like it,myself! :) )
Anyway,you know more about this sort of thing than me :-\ ;D!
I don't know more than you cilgwyn. Yes, all those alternative versions and now there is a version of Copland's iconic Third Symphony with a different coda! I wouldn't bother with the Dan Godfrey version of A London Symphony as he excised sections which Vaughan Williams kept in in all versions.  :o
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Parry
« Reply #63 on: May 25, 2018, 07:07:04 AM »
Parry’s First Symphony has a wonderfully proto-Elgarian first movement (the main theme has those characteristically Elgarian rising and falling sevenths), but I didn’t find the rest of the movements to be as interesting. I had a similar experience with his Second Symphony, which has a very fine opening but eventually lost grip on my attention. I must check out the other symphonies, though...
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Parry
« Reply #64 on: May 25, 2018, 07:48:54 AM »
Parry’s First Symphony has a wonderfully proto-Elgarian first movement (the main theme has those characteristically Elgarian rising and falling sevenths), but I didn’t find the rest of the movements to be as interesting. I had a similar experience with his Second Symphony, which has a very fine opening but eventually lost grip on my attention. I must check out the other symphonies, though...

4 and 5 and the Symphonic Variations are my favourites Kyle. I need to listen to 4 again. A friend gave me No 4 on Chandos as a birthday present some years ago.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

cilgwyn

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Re: Parry
« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2018, 01:24:29 AM »
I don't think the rest of No's 1 & 2 quite live up to their openings;but they've still got some fine,if Brahmsian,music in them,imho. I like his slow movements. The acid test for me is that I don't find myself twiddling my fingers and looking at the cd display at intervals and ending up turning them off before the end! I think No's 3-5 are the cream of the crop,for me,anyway! I like his shorter orchestral works,too. Chandos' compilation of these on a separate disc makes for an enjoyable listen.

cilgwyn

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Re: Parry
« Reply #66 on: May 26, 2018, 01:33:15 AM »
I don't think I know enough to comment on his originality, except by observing that with Parry there's always some Brahms in the background. But even so, Parry does have a distinctive voice in his symphonies, and it's possible to listen to certain passages and think 'that's pure Parry'.

His second (Cambridge) symphony, while not profound, and perhaps a little sweet for some tastes, is actually one of my personal favourite symphonies - full of melody; and the slow movement (one of those 'pure Parry' episodes, has a yearning, romantic quality to it that I like very much, but which won't be everyone's cup of tea.

The third (English) and fourth symphonies are a distinct step forward, and there are passages in them that are so reminiscent of Elgar that one realises that the Elgar 'sound' didn't by any means just appear from nowhere. But the overall tone remains 'Parry', not 'proto-Elgar' (Brahms influence invariably not far away of course). The third and fourth symphonies are both substantial works, and shouldn't have been dismissed from the repertoire in the way they were, and are. I've never quite clicked with the 5th symphony myself, but perhaps I'll warm to it one of these days. The 'Symphonic Variations' (which someone mentioned earlier in this thread) are great fun of course, though I find I exhaust it quickly.
I concur with the observation here on the slow movement of No 2. Yes,"a yearning,romantic quality"! I do like that. I'll have to listen to it again,now!! ::) ;D

cilgwyn

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Re: Parry
« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2018, 01:50:42 AM »
It's all too easy to forget the impact of those Chandos sets of Parry symphonies,when they came out. I remember the Gramophone ads. I remember thinking;"Wow!" Stanford wrote seven?!! Only a few years before no one could have imagined that in only few years time a recording label would record the whole lot,with a fine orchestra and all the trimmings! I was one of the minority who actually preferred Parry's cycle to Stanford's. Although,I liked the third with the reels and jigs!! I actually disposed of the Stanford symphonies later on;partly because of lack of room. A charity shop got them! I kept the Parry cycle. I remember giving the cd of Stanford's Seventh to my late mother. I remember playing it a few times and not being too impressed. Nice of me to give it to her!! ::) But hopefully,I just thought she might enjoy it?!! I recently played that cd and really enjoyed it. None of the music was particularly original,and obviously,even when it was written,it was a "throwback" to an earlier era;but what finely crafted music;and the old boy really knew how to orchestrate. I love the clarity of it. It has a cleansing effect. I enjoyed the "fill-up" items,too! I think I will end up re-buying some of them?! If I do,I don't think I'll bother with the first two,though?!

Offline Figaro

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Re: Parry
« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2021, 03:46:15 AM »
For me, Parry is a close second to Bax in terms of being the unsung English composer most thoroughly deserving of a central place in the Canon (of English music at least). His comparative neglect is perhaps even more puzzling than Bax, because the latter was the contemporary of Elgar and Vaughan Williams; yet most of Parry's work sits in the supposed 'Dark Age' of English music between Purcell and Elgar.

Yes, on one level, by the standards of late-19th century european art-music Parry is certainly not a revolutionary composer and is indeed a conservative one. I often find his music constrained by a timidness, perhaps a fear of being deemed gauche, that perhaps typifies a certain kind of Englsihness - ironically perhaps the same attitude that today contributes to Parry's neglect from people unwilling to see the virtues of someone so decidedly unfashionable.

What Parry certainly isn't is boring or derivative; like Stanford (whom to my mind, though certainly having his merits, is strictly inferior to Parry) he bridges the gap between Brahms and Elgar and should deservedly be considered a revolutionary *in its context*. He is the first great English symphonist and his music really should be regular feature of our concert halls.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Parry
« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2021, 09:13:16 AM »
Thanks for your insightful post, Figaro. I must confess that I find the majority of Parry’s music to be rather formulaic and lacking in memorability - it’s all very well-crafted and often quite energetic but just seems to be “going through the motions” to me. A recent listen to the 2nd Symphony confirmed this impression for me. Two exceptions to this rule I’ve encountered so far are the 3rd Symphony and Symphonic Variations which are very fine, robust works. I’m not familiar with most of his choral works. Unlike you, I generally much prefer Stanford, whose 3rd and 6th symphonies, Irish Rhapsodies, and various chamber works I find to be very engaging and melodious works. :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Parry
« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2021, 10:06:47 AM »
Yes, interesting comment from Figaro. The best Parry disc that I know is Sir Adrian Boult's final ever recording featuring my two favourite works by Parry, the Symphonic Variations and the 5th Symphony. I think that Stanford and Parry were great teachers rather than great composers.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 10:09:26 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Parry
« Reply #71 on: June 14, 2021, 04:01:07 PM »
Besides some of his orchestral works, I've also enjoyed this release that contains his music for string quartet. They're not eart-shattering stuff, but quite charming and lovely the SQs are:

«Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!»

Carl Nielsen