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6 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Introduction to Parry's Genuis
I, too, own many thousands of Cds and wholeheartedly disagree with the previous review!

A sensitive and musically accomplished performance, Stokes' talented choristers sing with clarity, warmth and rich expression. Sure, there are a couple of wobbly moments but overall this is a really enjoyable recording. A fantastic introduction to Parry, for the novice as...
Published on 30 May 2011 by johngrahams

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed
I wanted to hear some of Parry's choral music after watching the BBC4 documentary, "The Prince and the Composer", in which Prince Charles talked about his love for Parry's music and his view that it deserves to be better known. In my opinion, Parry is as well known as he deserves to be.

When I saw the one star review of this recording, I was struck how the...
Published on 15 July 2011 by Bacchus


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed, 15 July 2011
By 
Bacchus (Greater London - Surrey) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I wanted to hear some of Parry's choral music after watching the BBC4 documentary, "The Prince and the Composer", in which Prince Charles talked about his love for Parry's music and his view that it deserves to be better known. In my opinion, Parry is as well known as he deserves to be.

When I saw the one star review of this recording, I was struck how the reviewer seemed to find nothing of any merit in it. Surely, it couldn't be that bad. So I have decided to listen to it myself and make my own mind up.

Manchester Cathedral Choir is not known as one of this country's premier cathedral choirs. However, this should not put you off. They sing with a nice blend and pretty good tone. The treble line has a mixture of boys and girls and has a warmth and richness of tone that some boys only choirs can lack. The underlying voices are strong but not overwhelming. However, I did find the overall sonority a little lacking in weight and grandeur in this music and sometimes the microphones catch the upper voices in an unpleasant way.

The first piece is "I was Glad". It is a very good start to the CD, which I enjoyed very much. I was struck by the magical quality of the "Oh Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem" section in the middle with reduced (solo?) forces. Similarly the final track, "Jerusalem" gets a good rousing performance. I just wish the rest of the CD could have been this good.

The most important works on the CD, however, are the "Songs of Farewell". I and many others regard them as Parry's masterpieces. They are reflections on mortality using mainly 17th century English poetry. The words themselves can brings shivers to the spine but the musical execution here did not convince me. There was something rather matter of fact about the performances. I longed for some real engagement with the music and words. After a while, I found the longer anthems a bit of a trial to listen to, they just seemed to lose their way and just subject the listener to a series of notes. For comparison, I listened to a recording made by the choir of New College Oxford in two of the Songs of Farewell and found all the qualities missing from this recording.

I do enjoy Parry's music both as a performer and a listener (I have taken part in performances of 9 of the 12 tracks on this CD) but in all honesty, I cannot be enthusiatic about this particular recording. It has its moments in the shorter pieces but the longer ones lack the necessary sweep and bigger view to be convincing. Sorry.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Introduction to Parry's Genuis, 30 May 2011
I, too, own many thousands of Cds and wholeheartedly disagree with the previous review!

A sensitive and musically accomplished performance, Stokes' talented choristers sing with clarity, warmth and rich expression. Sure, there are a couple of wobbly moments but overall this is a really enjoyable recording. A fantastic introduction to Parry, for the novice as well as the seasoned classical listener.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not complete but still valuable, 3 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Parry, H.: Choral Masterpieces - Songs of Farewell / I Was Glad / Jerusalem (MP3 Download)
I bought this record to study some choral pieces. The recording is good but the collection is not complete, but was fine for me.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really not very good, 15 Aug. 2011
By 
J. C. Shaw (Herts, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Parry, H.: Choral Masterpieces - Songs of Farewell / I Was Glad / Jerusalem (MP3 Download)
I downloaded this mostly to hear the Songs of Farewell.

It was pretty unimpressive all the way through - starting from a rendition of I was Glad that was less than wonderful in both tone and intonation.

I'm sure there must be better recordings (I have not looked yet) and I won't be returning to this for a long time (if ever).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 30 Mar. 2013
By 
T. Wells "book fan" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parry, H.: Choral Masterpieces - Songs of Farewell / I Was Glad / Jerusalem (MP3 Download)
Disappointed with the quality of the singing. With a choir of this standing I assumed it would be better than this.
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hello & Farewell, 31 Dec. 2010
I own many thousands of Cd's, DVD's, Vids, tapes and LP's. I love this music.

So, I have to say that this is the worst recording of anything I have ever heard, in all respects - performance, recording & notes. Really, truly, AWFUL!!
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