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, Spy, and 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.