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The centenary of Parry’s death in 2018 has boosted his profile, with several significant performances and recordings of his music – and not just the familiar Blest Pair of Sirens and I Was Glad. There have been, for example, a clutch of new recordings of his late set of six motets, Songs of Farewell, which forms the major feature of this new album from Robert Quinney and his excellent Choir of New College Oxford. The Songs of Farewell have been recorded using Quinney’s new edition from Parry’s manuscript in the Bodleian Library. His reading is near- perfectly judged, the choir’s tone bright and full. Equally fine is Hear my words, ye people, which concludes with a metrical version of Psalm 150 familiar to most people as a hymn tune, while it’s fascinating to hear an early and quite different version of ‘There is an old belief ’. The inclusion of Mendelssohn’s Sechs Sprüche places Parry in a European context, and it’s easy to hear the connections. This beautifully assembled and executed CD concludes with organist Timothy Wakerell’s authoritative rendition of Parry’s ‘Wanderer’ Toccata & Fugue.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Choir & Organ, 2019 - ©Rhinegold Publishing