Saturday, May 14, 2011

Parry's "I Was Glad" (Royal Wedding) available from Hyperion (on Amazon), with organ

In the “wake” of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine April 29, a lot of public interest surfaced in the great processional music, a setting of a hymn by Sir Hubert Parry, “I was glad when they said unto me”. 

I found it on Amazon on Hyperion, a CD that dates to 1988, with Christopher Robinson conducting the Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and Roger Judd, organ.

The 5-minute hymn is performed here with organ, but the orchestral transcription is more effective, I think.
The Hymn was originally written for the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902. In C Major, it makes a teasing false start with a minor interval, with a theme that resembles that of the slow movement of Nielsen’s Second Symphony (the “Phlegmatic” temperament).  But the music quickly becomes loud and virile, bringing to mind Vaughn Williams and “Toward the Unknown Region”.

The CD includes a 12 minute “Evening Service in D Major”, “The Great”; and then Six a cappella "Songs of Farewell" (which sound a bit conventional to me).

There follows a 15 minute cantata “Hear my words, ye people”, which is quiet for much of its duration but rises to triumph, and then the familiar hymn, “Jerusalem: And did those feet in ancient time”), with a triumphant, modal theme in E-flat.

Many denominations include a lot of Parry in their hymnals.

There was a brief wait from Amazon to get this CD, which is no surprise. It’s CDA66273.


No comments: