Classical & Jazz Concerts

Pinner Parish Church

October 2018 - April 2019

Tickets are now available to book online

The Carice Singers (Remembrance Concert)

Saturday 10th November 2018, 7:30pm

Pinner Parish Church

Parry, Gurney, Elgar, Howells, McDowall, Holst

ETERNAL BE THE SLEEP 

On 7th October 1918, almost exactly a month before the Western Front fell quiet for the final time, the composer and teacher Hubert Parry died. His extensive musical output, consisting of symphonies, oratorios, songs, and chamber works, as well as his far-reaching influence as Head of the Royal College of Music in London earned him the admiration and undying gratitude both of his contemporaries and those who followed in his footsteps. 

It is difficult to know what caused Parry to write his remarkable Songs of Farewell between 1913-1915. He certainly knew his health was failing, yet he may also have been provoked by the events of the First World War and the losses among his own friends and students which, in the words of Herbert Howells, “cast a devastating shadow over Parry’s mind and heart”. 

This programme includes two other shorter works by Parry, an intense setting Sorrow and Pain, and the well-crafted Love is a Sickness, both pinnacles of a genre that was soon to be cast away in favour of less sentimental forms. 

The first half also pays tribute to English composers who were involved in or affected by the Great War. Ivor Gurney’s extraordinary setting of Robert Bridges’ Since I believe in God the Father Almighty was written in 1925 during the poet and composer’s intense creative period while he was incarcerated in the City of London Mental Hospital. In contrast, the innocence of Gustav Holst’s Nunc Dimittis is painful considering it was composed in 1915, a year which contained some of the most bitter fighting on the Western Front. 

Another great admirer of Parry's music was Edward Elgar, whose solemn anthem, They are at rest was written for a service commemorating the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death in 1910. The masterly setting of Cardinal Newman's words manages to be both comforting yet chilling in its stillness. 

The deep meditative effect of Elgar’s piece is matched in a more contemporary soundworld by Cecilia McDowall’s I know that my redeemer liveth, a piece still in the same English choral tradition that Parry was so instrumental in cultivating. 

George Parris 

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Pinner Parish Church
Church Lane
Pinner
Middlesex HA5 3AA

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