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Cat. No. CHAN 6610 Price: £4.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 6610 - Parry: Symphonic Variations · Concertstück · From Death to Life · Elegy for Brahms
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Available From: 20 July 2000
For several decades Parry’s resourceful set of twenty-seven ‘symphonic’ variations remained his only orchestral work to be given the occasional performance. The ‘symphonic’ structure implied in the sonata style divisions of tempo and key gave Parry the opportunity to explore and enhance his technical resources. The first performance was given in 1897, conducted by the composer.

The ‘Concertstück’ in C minor is undated, but undoubtedly dates from 1877 when Parry attended Wagner’s famous London Concerts. Not surprisingly, the main influence is Wagner, although references to Beethoven and Weber are apparent. The manuscript was considered lost, but was recently discovered in the Royal College of Music. It was complete apart from one small section which was reconstructed for this recording.

‘From Death to Life’ is a ‘Symphonic poem in two connected movements’ and was written for the 1914 Brighton Festival. Parry referred to the work as the spiritual triumph of life over death, arm in arm with Fate ‘who walks ever in our midst’. The work suggests that Parry was in the process of renewing every aspect of his compositional technique. Orchestral effects which look doubtful on paper are startling and successful in performance.

The first performance of ‘Elegy for Brahms’ (1897) was not until 1918 and it was not heard again until 1977. It is a symphonic movement in A minor, which owes as much to Liszt as to Brahms. There are several references to Brahms’s music and Parry uses the romantic orchestra with notable delicacy to convey his own sense of hollowness and loss.
Reviews

‘It would be difficult to imagine more committed performances, and the rich recording fits the music like a glove’.
Gramophone

‘Bamert has a complete understanding of Parry’s music, and you surely will not be disappointed…’
American Record Guide

‘Performances are authoritative and the recordings are up to Chandos’ highest standards – a perfect introduction to Parry the symphonic thinker’.
BBC Music Magazine

‘Both recording and playing are absolutely first class.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘Bamert gives passionately evocative performances… and the LPO is obviously taken by their fellow countryman’s music. Highly recommended…’
The Sunday Times

 

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