Hubert Parry is best known for his setting of Blake's poem Jerusalem – but what of his many other works? Was he wholly a composer of choral music – hymns and anthems – or were there other aspects to his musical output? And how does his music reflect his personality? It is easy to overlook, or at least to underestimate, the revivifying effect of Parry’s work. His music was a refreshing, invigorating contrast to the reactionary environment that prevailed in British music through the first half of the nineteenth century. This new voice stemmed largely from the wider, continental European influences to which Parry was exposed as a student of Edward Dannreuther: a champion of Brahms, Liszt and Wagner, Dannreuther instituted a series of chamber music concerts at his London home, which provided both a stimulus for Parry’s own important assays into the genre of chamber music and a vehicle for their first performances. This conspectus of Parry’s works for violin and piano ranges from the early and unpublished Freundschaftslieder of 1872 to the Suite no.2 of 1907, and will therefore provide a fascinating chart of their composer’s progress from a young man, eager to hone his craft, to an established and respected musician, academic and teacher. His music for this genre expresses a wide range of emotions: they are wistful and elegiac; beautifully and memorably lyrical; exuberantly energetic; and full-bloodedly and assuredly celebratory.+ More details
Extracts from the 'Five Pieces' for Violin and Piano by Gustav Holst, performed by Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) and Matthew Rickard (piano) and issued on the label EM Records (EMR CD006). It is not known when Holst composed these five short works for violin and piano, but they were published separately by various houses between 1902 and 1904. Of the five, only the Valse-Étude is known to have received a public performance during Holst’s lifetime, and upon the title-page of the published score is emblazoned the legend “Dedicated to and Played by/Miss Marie Hall”. Marie Hall also made, in 1924, a recording of the work for The Gramophone Company with the pianist Marguerite Tilleard. Although Holst’s mature compositional voice was yet to emerge, these colourful and characterful pieces are excellently well-crafted examples of their genre. They were rediscovered by Rupert Marshall-Luck and his scholarly-critical edition has been published by EM Publishing (EMP SP001). For more details of the groundbreaking label EM Records, please visit www.em-records.com, where a full catalogue is available. The artists' websites may be seen at www.rupertluck.com and www.matthewrickard.co.uk.+ More details
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