Recommended listening: Parry, Burgon

Lately I’ve been listening to a fair bit of C.H.H. Parry’s music (1848-1918).   I’d heard of Parry before, but my new-found interest in him was sparked after I heard the processional anthem “I was glad” at the Royal Wedding last year.   With the full orchestration and the Westminster Abbey choir, it is absolutely magnificent.

Of course, now I realize that Parry wrote two of my favourite English hymn tunes, the almost-national anthem “Jerusalem,” and “Repton,” used for “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.”

Here’s another beautiful piece of his I’ve since discovered, a setting of Tennyson’s text, “Crossing the Bar,” sung by the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir.

Finally, on more recommendation, in keeping with the theme of English choral music.  I stumbled on Geoffrey Burgon’s Nunc Dimittis this past summer.   Samantha and I went to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spyand loved it, so I decided to take out the older mini-series from the library.  I was surprised that Burgon (who also composed the score for the series) chose to use this sacred choral selection for the credits.   It seems a bit out of place for a spy story.  Still, whatever his reasons, I’m glad he made that choice, because I’ve been listening to it a lot lately.

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