Musical contribution - September 2018

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind - C. H. H. Parry (LiVE sample set: Leipzig, Sauer).

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the renowned English composer Charles Hubert Parry. Parry is sometimes called one of the best composers in England, and was held in great esteem by luminaries such as Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan-Williams. 

"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" is one of his most famous hymns. The choral arrangement offered this month was written for the Oratorio "Judith", but is usually performed separately. It also appears on many choir programs in the Netherlands.

Despite the fact that no text is heard during an organ performance, we can still create a beautiful performance by using different stops. There are four verses in the work. The first and third verses are played with a leading stop (the third verse is in minor), and the second and fourth verses on one manual. There is always a four-bar interlude between the verses, and a postlude following bar 66.

When listening to the recording, you will hear the variety in tones. Given the stoplists on English organs, there's no problem with having a number of 8' stops sounding at the same time. In the first verse, a large principal 8' plays C.F. In bar 19, we add a soft reed. This one even continues to sound (in a closed console) during the accompaniment in the third verse (bar 36). The interlude between the third and fourth verses features a crescendo that gives the fourth verse a forte sound. In the postlude, all of the stops are closed again in order to conclude with the strings of the Swell. Have fun!

With musical regards,

André van Vliet

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