Parry: Twelve Sets of English Lyrics – Volume 1

Susan Gritton soprano, James Gilchrist tenor, Roderick Williams baritone, Andrew West piano
71:00
Somm Recordings SOMMCD 257

This may not be a release that you would expect to see reviewed here, but it is not that long ago that Robert King’s landmark recording of the fabulous full orchestrations of music by Parry, Stanford and Elgar showed that the legacy of Victorian and Edwardian Britain is fully deserving of rediscovery. With three singers with fine HIP track records, and wonderfully crisp diction, accompanied by one of the finest players in the business, this really is a gem, and surely the first instalment of what will undoubtedly become an award-winning series. Like that of his contemporaries, Parry’s music was taken more seriously on the continent than at home and these songs would scarcely pale alongside the best Lieder  of the period – a rich variety of easily memorable melodies and imaginative piano writing make for an entertaining and rewarding recital, which I heartily recommend.

Brian Clark