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The man who wrote the tune for Jerusalem

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: April 11, 2013

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ASK anyone you know who is into classical music who wrote the music for Jerusalem and see if they answer Hubert Parry.

The Edwardian composer turned out to be a firm favourite of HRH The Prince of Wales who took part in a television documentary about this much under-rated composer.

Working under the shadow of Sullivan and Elgar could not have been easy and, hence, it is good to find some of his music featured in local programmes.

So it is on Sunday, April 14 when the Felsted Choral Society conducted by Roger Lawrence perform the six unaccompanied choral works that comprise his Songs of Farewell.

These were the last pieces he wrote and provide a suitable valediction to Parry who died in 1918, two years after composing Jerusalem.

The Felsted programme also includes Bruckner's Mass No 2 accompanied by a small ensemble of wind instruments in a concert that also features Mozart's Serenade K388.

The performance takes place in the Felsted School Chapel at 7.30pm.

If I say that after listening to Parry's beautiful songs, I might want a change of mood, then that should not be seen as disrespectful. For the change of mood I would reach for is a delightful programme of "light" music from Watford-based Dutton Laboratories.

The company has been steadily releasing CDs in a series called British Light Music Premieres. Volume 3 is conducted by Gavin Sutherland and Paul Murphy and is performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Ernest Tomlinson, a master of light music if ever there was one, opens the programme with a hustling, bustling overture Highway To The Sun and with music by his contemporaries, most born in the 1920s and 1930s you might consider this is just for listeners who want an easy life. Not so, orchestras love playing this kind of music, and there are some gems in this collection of ten works (Dutton CDLX 7170).

Just time to remind you that also on Sunday, April 14, the last M&G concert of the current season takes place at Chelmsford's Civic Theatre. Lesley Garrett will be exercising her vocal muscles in three arias by Handel, and the European Union Chamber Orchestra, directed by Hans-Peter Hofmann, accompanies as well as playing music by Haydn, Elgar and Samuel Barber. The programme starts at 7.30pm (To reserve tickets phone 01245 606505).

Chris Green

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