English Composers, featuring Hubert Parry

Today, Elrik Mer­lin plays selec­tions from Eng­lish com­posers of the 19th and 20th cen­turies, and among the big names like Elgar, Delius and Vaugh­an Williams, you’ll find a selec­tion of works by Edwar­dian com­pos­er Hubert Par­ry.

Of course, you’ve heard of Par­ry: Eng­lish lis­ten­ers at least know his set­ting of William Blake’sJerusalem, which is vir­tu­al­ly a sec­ond Nation­al Anthem. You might also know his piece I Was Glad, writ­ten for the Coro­na­tion of King Edward VII in 1902 and per­formed at the recent Roy­al Wed­ding (minus the “Vivat” sec­tions which can only be sung at a Coro­na­tion).

How­ev­er, apart from these cer­e­mo­ni­al pieces he is far too lit­tle-known. Today we will hear all five of his Sym­phonies (sel­dom played and even more sel­dom record­ed) and a selec­tion of oth­er works, includ­ing the sim­ply mar­vel­lous Blest Pair of Sirens (also per­formed at the Roy­al Wed­ding). In his writ­ing you’ll hear hints of all kinds of oth­er British com­posers, notably Vaugh­an Williams (who stud­ied under him) and Elgar (who was also influ­enced by Par­ry). You’ll also catch a hint of Wag­n­er, and it was Par­ry who brought Ger­man clas­si­cal tech­niques to Eng­land.

Read more about Par­ry in this Wikipedia arti­cle. And lis­ten­ers in the UK can watch this illu­mi­nat­ing BBC TV doc­u­men­tary about Par­ry pre­sent­ed by HRH the Prince of Wales via the BBC iPlay­er.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme now at http://loudcity.com/stations/radio-riel/tune_in; out­side the US, tune to http://main.radioriel.org in-world, or sim­ply click here if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to launch a play­er auto­mat­i­cal­ly.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.


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