A revival of a neglected masterpiece

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry’s first oratorio Judith was premiered in Birmingham in August 1888 and was an instant success, consolidating his reputation as a composer of large-scale orchestral and choral writing. It contains the melody that later, under the name Repton, became the famous hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, but has been largely neglected for the best part of a century and never recorded.

Interest in this captivating tale of the deeds of one of the most famed of biblical characters has been building since a 2015 performance in Canada. Conducted by LESF Director William Vann, the London Mozart Players, Crouch End Festival Chorus and a host of top-ranking soloists will revive the work and give it its first full performance in London since 1889 at the Royal Festival Hall on 3rd April 2019. We also plan to record Judith later that month for release on a major record label by the end of next year. Also involved in the project is Parry specialist Jeremy Dibble, the internationally recognised expert in English oratorio.

London Mozart Players
Crouch End Festival Chorus
William Vann – conductor
Eleanor Dennis – soprano
Kathryn Rudge – mezzo-soprano
Toby Spence – tenor
Henry Waddington – bass-baritone

This will be a large undertaking and a hugely important event in the modern revival of Parry’s music, and neglected English masterpieces in general. The London English Song Festival, a registered charity in the UK that seeks to increase the knowledge of neglected music, is overseeing the project. It will be critical to raise funds to support the recording in particular, in order to fill an important missing piece in the musical jigsaw of Parry, a giant of English choral and orchestral writing. We are now seeking support for this project.

For more information, please contact us via the contact form on this website.

TICKETS: tickets will be on general sale via the SouthBank Centre’s website from September 2018.

Parry – Judith – Royal Festival Hall – Wednesday 3rd April 2019 – recording 24-27 April.

London English Song Festival is a registered charity, no. 1159818