|Songs of Farewell|
|Six choral motets by Hubert Parry|
|Text||Poems by Henry Vaughan, John Davies, Thomas Campion, John Gibson Lockhart, John Donne; and the Book of Common Prayer|
|Composed||1916 England – 1918 :|
|Date||22 May 1916,|
|Location||Royal College of Music (first 5 pieces only)|
The songs were written during the First World War when a number of Parry's pupils at the Royal College of Music were being killed in action. Parry's choice of texts are thought to reflect a yearning to escape the violence of a world at war, and to find peace in a heavenly realm. In contrast to Parry's assured 1916 setting of William Blake's poem "And did those feet in ancient time", "Jerusalem", Songs of Farewell is seen as representing a decline in national confidence. During the war, Parry lost many of his students, George Butterworth was killed, Arthur Bliss wounded and Ivor Gurney was gassed. Having been a lifelong Germanophile, who previously believed that Britain would never go to war with the Kaiser, the war proved to be a time of personal despair for Parry, which is reflected in the six pieces.
The first concert performance of Songs of Farewell took place at the Royal College of Music on 22 May 1916, when The Bach Choir sang the first five pieces, directed by Hugh Allen. Parry's piece was well received by critics; reviews in The Daily Telegraph and The Musical Times praised the pieces, and a review in The Times said that the fifth song, ""At the round earth's imagined corners", was "one of the most impressive short choral works written in recent years".
Parry died on 7 October 1918 and one of the pieces from Songs of Farewell, "There is an old belief", was sung at the composer's funeral in St Paul's Cathedral. The first performance of the complete set of six songs was at a memorial service to Parry held in the chapel of Exeter College, Oxford on 23 February 1919, four months after his death.
- "At the round earth's imagined corners"
- Text from Holy Sonnets No. 7 by John Donne, set for SSAATTBB choir in B minor
- "Lord, let me know mine end"
- Text from Psalm 39 from the Book of Common Prayer, set for SATB double choir in D major
- Parry: Songs Of Farewell; Stanford: Magnificat, Eternal Father, Three Motets — Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Richard Marlow (Conifer, 1987)
- I Was Glad — Cathedral Music By Parry — Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Christopher Robinson (Hyperion Records, 1988)
- Hubert Parry — Songs of Farewell — Tenebrae, Nigel Short (Signum Records, 2011)
- Parry: Songs of Farewell and other choral works — Choir of New College, Oxford, Robert Quinney Novum Records, August 2018
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Songs of Farewell|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Shrock, Dennis (2009). Choral Repertoire. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 9780195327786. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Hughes, Meirion; Stradling, Robert; Stradling, R. A. (2001). English Musical Renaissance, 1840-1940. Manchester University Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780719058301. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Parry, C. Hubert H. Quinney, Robert (ed.). Songs of Farewell (notes to the vocal score). ISBN 9780193518469.
- Keen, Basil (2017). The Bach Choir: The First Hundred Years. Routledge. pp. 96–7. ISBN 9781351546072. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- Dibble, Jeremy (1992). C. Hubert H. Parry: His Life and Music. Clarendon Press. p. 496. ISBN 9780193153301.
- Routley, Erik; Dakers, Lionel (1997). A Short History of English Church Music. A&C Black. p. 83. ISBN 9780264674407. Retrieved 29 August 2018.