Title: 12 Sets of English Lyrics 3
Artist: Parry / Fox / West
Label: Somm Recordings
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS
Genre: Classical Artists
SOMM Recordings' historic, enthusiastically reviewed survey of Sir Hubert Parry's 12 Sets of English Lyrics reaches it's end with a third revelatory volume. Volume III features pianist Andrew West and baritone Roderick Williams (both heard on Volumes I and II) and the return of soprano Sarah Fox (who appeared on Volume II). Composed between 1874 and shortly before Parry's death in 1918, the English Lyrics come from a time of immense change as old certainties gave way to new complexity and a global war that would utterly change Britain's standing in the world. Parry's riposte was the English Lyrics: a defiant assertion that English poetry was the equal of Germany's Lied and French mélodies and arguably created the template for the development of the emerging English art-song. The texts of many of the 25 songs - including some of his finest - on this recording carry deeply personal meanings for Parry, his response to them as varied as mood dictates and all realized with consummate insight and craftsmanship. Settings of AP Graves, Julia Chatterton and Julian Sturgis are to the fore, although lyrics by Herbert Warner and the American poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Langdon Elwyn Mitchell are also to be heard in a spell- binding conclusion to an acclaimed series. Parry's only setting of Christina Rossetti, 'My heart is like a singing bird,' is delightfully effusive, 'When the Sun's Great Orb,' Wagner-like in it's imagining of the end of days, 'The child and the twilight' vividly full of night-time fears. Reviewing Volume I, BBC Music Magazine praised the "many pleasurable moments in this richly enjoyable album" with Classical Ear summing it up as being "In a word: blissful". Of Volume II, Robert Hugill applauded "this enterprising and illuminating survey", while MusicWeb International said: "Lovers of English songs, and Parry in particular, should be in their element with this satisfying album on Somm".