2018 marks the centenaries of the end of the First World War and also the death of Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918), celebrated composer and former Director of the Royal College of Music.
Ahead of events to mark the occasions later in the year, Dr Jonathan Clinch has prepared the first edition of Parry’s unpublished Elegie in C for organ, which the Royal College of Music are making freely available for download through the IMSLP site.
This beautiful miniature was written in March 1918 and, excluding the orchestration of his earlier song ‘England’, was the final music he wrote. The Great War had a tremendous effect on Parry. His vision for the Royal College was that it would produce musicians who would play a full role in society, so in his eyes it was the duty of the men to fight. At the same time, the slaughter of so many of his young musicians caused him great distress. The Royal College of Music would like to thank Catherine Russell, great granddaughter of Sir Hubert Parry, for permission to publish this score for the first time.
The Elegie can be heard at the Royal Festival Hall on April 24th, played by William Whitehead.
Hi Jonathan, I played this to close at a recent WW1 commemoration recital at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinbugh, as part of the Fringe Festival (an accompanying selection of poetry/artwork along with programme notes are on my own blog, if you’d be interested in reading more).
It’s a splendid piece; It’s incredible it’s taken this long for an edition to come out!