Parry, Stanford

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COMPOSERS: Parry,Stanford
LABELS: Hyperion Helios
WORKS: Nonet in B flat
PERFORMER: Capricorn
CATALOGUE NO: CDH 55061 Reissue (1987)
The names Parry and Stanford used to be paired as a matter of routine – as pioneers of the English musical renaissance, forerunners of Elgar. But the two works recorded here are very different in style and spirit. Granted we’re talking about the younger, Victorian Parry and the mature, Edwardian Stanford; but, interestingly, it’s the Stanford which on the whole sounds less original, more Brahmsian, despite the striking Celtic Twilight visions in the slow movement. Parry may have thought of his Nonet as a study, but there are moments when one senses the thrill of discovery. The performances are clean and contained, but also affectionate, with recordings fresh and sensitively balanced. Stephen Johnson