Two Intermezzi for String Trio
Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) was born in Bournemouth, England. As far as music went, he received some lessons on the piano as youth but did not formally study it. He was educated Eton and Oxford and though he showed an extraordinary aptitude for music, he took a degree in law and modern history as his father wanted him to have a career in commerce. From 1870 to 1877 he worked in the insurance industry, but he continued his musical studies, first with from William Sterndale Bennett, and later with the pianist Edward Dannreuther when Brahms proved to be unavailable. After leaving the insurance industry, Parry became a full-time musician and during the last decades of the 19th century was widely regarded as England’s finest composer. In the 1890s he became director of the Royal College of Music and was appointed Professor of Music at Oxford. He helped establish classical music at the centre of English cultural life. As head of the Royal College of Music, his pupils included Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge and John Ireland.
His music shows the influence of Bach and Brahms, The respected music critic H.C. Colles, writing in Cobbett’s Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music notes that Parry was the first English composer whose development could be traced to the concerted practice of chamber music.
The Two Intermezzi were composed in 1886. The first is a somewhat sad and reflective Lento espressivo. The score is rich and at times it almost sounds as if it is a string quartet rather than a trio performing. The second intermezzo is a genial and lovely. Allegretto and sounds more like one would expect such a movement to sound. It has an updated Mendelssohnian quality.
These pieces make a welcome addition to the scanty late 19th century repertoire for string trio and would do well on any concert program, though they present no technical difficulties whatsoever.
Parts & Score: $17.95