Sarah Raper writes:
7 October is the centenary of Sir Charles Hubert Parry’s death (7.2.1848 – 7.10.1918).
In their concert on Saturday 20th October at the church of the Holy Spirit, Southsea, Portsmouth Baroque Choir will sing some of his best-known works. ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’ was commissioned by and dedicated to Charles Villiers Stanford. ‘I was Glad’ was written originally for the coronation of Edward VII but rewritten in its present form for the coronation of George V in June 1911. ‘Hear my words, ye people’ was written for the Festival of the Salisbury Diocesan Choral Association and ends with the hymn ‘O praise ye the Lord’.
The centrepiece of the programme is Parry’s ‘Songs of Farewell’, written during the First World War and when Parry knew that he had not long to live. Including them is an appropriate way to mark the centenary of the Armistice. A number of Parry’s part-songs and two of his organ preludes are also included in the programme.