One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Buy through MusicWeb for £11.00 postage paid World-wide. Try it on Sale or Return

Purchase this disc

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918)
Overture to an Unwritten Tragedya (1893) [10’25]. An English Suite in Ga (c1921) [20’57]. The Birds (1883) – Bridal Marchb [5’21]. Lady Radnor’s Suite in Fa (1894) [13’25]. Symphonic Variationsa (1897) [12’53].
aLondon Symphony Orchestra, bLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult.
No rec. info. ADD
All works except for the Bridal March recorded in association with The RVW Trust.


Surely there has been no greater interpreter of Parry’s music than Sir Adrian Boult? In Boult’s hands, the music emerges as finely sculpted and, perhaps even more important, as truly great music.

This is immediately evident in the performance of the Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy, Parry’s very first published work. Allegedly the tragedy in question was actually Shakespeare’s Othello, with the long-breathed melodies representing the heroine Desdemona. It is given a dramatic performance here by the LSO under Sir Adrian.

An English Suite is gentle in the extreme. It is a well-crafted sequence of dances performed here with the utmost delicacy and care (try especially the second, ‘In Minuet Style’, as the perfect example of this). The Saraband is possibly more explosive than may be expected, yet it contrasts well with the light ‘Caprice’ that follows. Predating An English Suite is another work for strings, Lady Radnor’s Suite. Superbly crafted and understated in emotion, its highlight is the Slow Minuet, here given as rapt a performance as is imaginable by Boult and the LSO.

Parry wrote the incidental music to the Aristophanes play The Birds in 1883. The bride in the play is welcomed by a Chorus of Birds (here the Trio section). The main body of the movement is dominated by a characteristic melody that speaks of lofty dignity (it might as well have been marked ‘nobilmente’).

Finally, the Symphonic Variations, is one of Parry’s better known works. There is a Brahmsian influence at work in this single-movement work (the variations may be subdivided into five sections but run together as one – Parry used the word ‘Symphonic’ in the title to emphasise the high degree of continuity). Boult gives a multi-faceted reading that is attentive to the score’s every need. Textures are miraculously elucidated and Parry’s imagination is shown in the best possible light. It is, in fact, amazing just how large Parry’s canvas seems when one considers the total duration is only just under thirteen minutes.

The recording quality throughout is superb. Its warmth is particularly appealing and, indeed, apposite.

Colin Clarke

The Lyrita catalogue

We are currently offering in excess of 52,619 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.