9 Sep 2023
Crouch End Festival Chorus joined the London Mozart Players, soprano Sarah Fox, mezzo Dame Sarah Connolly, tenor David Butt Philip and baritone Neal Davies under the baton of William Vann to make a world première recording of Sir Charles Hubert H Parry’s early work Scenes from Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound.
Commissioned for the Three Choirs Festival, in Gloucester in 1880, the première received a mixed reception, but despite numerous repeat performances, in Cambridge, Oxford, and London, all with rave reviews, the piece sank into obscurity.
This world première recording is the first chance for modern audiences to hear this outstanding work, which is paired on this disc with Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens.
Simon Heffer from The Telegraph calls this “a historic, sublime and essential recording” and declares the performances and direction “all exemplary”.
Gramophone has chosen the album as the October 2023 Recording of the Month in Martin Cullingford's Editor's Choice selection.
Hubert Parry (1848 - 1918), regarded by many, including Edward Elgar, as the finest English composer since Purcell, and as the father of the modern English tradition. He is best known for his hymn Jerusalem (immortalised by the Women’s Institute and English cricket supporters alike!). His anthem I was glad, written for the coronation of Edward VII, in 1902, has been used also at the coronations of George V, Elizabeth II, and Charles III (who is a proclaimed fan of Parry’s music).
The recording is released by Chandos on September 8 2023, and is available to buy or stream via all the usual channels.
"here, Crouch End Festival Chorus really get to show their stuff" - Planet Hugill
"The choral writing throughout is miraculous - as is the response of the Crouch End Festival Chorus. A phenomenal performance of a piece that is nothing short of a revelation." - Classical Explorer
"highly dramatic performances seething with passionate endeavour and glorious grandeur" - Classical Music Daily