Parry: From Death to Life; Symphonic Variations CD
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Parry: Symphonic Variations / Concertstuck in G Minor / From Death To Life / Elegy for Brahms
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Format: Music CD, Chandos Records. Classical music CD release from London Philharmonic Orchestra with the album Parry: Symphonic Variations From Death to Life, Elegy for Brahms. Released on the label Chandos Records. Classical music CD. This hard to find pre-owned music CD is fully guaranteed.
Heres proof - if its still needed - that there was more to Parry than a competent precursor of Elgar who also wrote a couple of rousing hymn-tunes. The Symphonic Variations, one of the few substantial pieces to survive in the repertoire after Parrys death, is lively, resourceful and finely crafted. From Death to Life is Grand Old Mans music - in the best and worst senses of the phrase, but Elegy for Brahms probes more deeply, and the long-lost Concertstück is a real surprise: the young Parry as an intense Wagnerian modernist. Performances are authoritative and the recordings are up to Chandoss highest standards - a perfect introduction to Parry the symphonic thinker.
© BBC Music Magazine 2001
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All the pieces on this disc display the nobility of expression that I find so characteristic and endearing in this composer. He is the first composer I would describe as sounding "English", even before Elgar, and this character is in the cast of his melodies, as with Elgar too, and therefore difficult to pin down.
The original theme forming the basis of the orchestral variations has something of the sea about it. Parry exploits this rather square tune in delightful and varied ways to give us an enjoyable work. The Elegy to Brahms is a deeply felt work and one of Parry's most beautiful utterances, with strong and memorable thematic material worked out with powerful emotional effect. The two movement From Death to Life was composed in the shadow of the First World War, with a deeply elegiac first half and more optimistic ending. The long theme of the opening is a fine example of Parry's ability to express something profound, increasing the emotional tension as the melody itself expands to a climax. He was not a believer but he was a deeply humane man and perhaps this work expressed his view that we must make of life what we can while we are here but death is the end and we must must ultimately accept this.
This is a fascinating collection, beautifully played.
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