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Scenes from Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound
C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918)
Recording for Chandos Records
8th-10th September 2022
Sarah Fox soprano: Spirit of the Hour
Dame Sarah Connolly DBE mezzo-soprano: The Earth
David Butt Philip tenor: Jupiter & Mercury
Neal Davies bass-baritone: Prometheus
Crouch End Festival Chorus
London Mozart Players
William Vann conductor
Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) is one of Britain’s best-loved composers. His choral music and hymns are part of the fabric of British music, such as the coronation anthem I was glad, his extended church anthem Blest Pair of Sirens and his hymns Jerusalem and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (the latter extracted from his oratorio Judith).
His larger works for chorus and orchestra, though popular in their day, had been largely overlooked in recent years until the London English Song Festival & William Vann’s critically-acclaimed revival of Judith at Royal Festival Hall in 2019, subsequently recorded and released by Chandos Records in 2020.
Prometheus Unbound, written for the Gloucester Festival in 1880, is a powerful and dramatic work, strongly influenced by Wagner yet showing clear signs of Parry’s developing, individual compositional voice. The critic H. C. Colles wrote:
“Prometheus shows a sense of forceful declamation which English music had not known since Purcell.”
And the musicologist Ernest Walker:
“If we seek for a definite birthday for modern English music, September 7, 1880, which Prometheus saw the light at Gloucester…has the best claim.”
Yet Prometheus Unbound has never been recorded, and not performed for several decades. A stunning line-up has been assembled for our recording this September, including some of the finest British singing talent, with which we hope to restore this work to the contemporary musical consciousness once more.
The total cost of making this recording will be £59,875. All the production costs will be funded by Chandos Records and I will be taking no fee for any of my work towards the project. The London English Song Festival, a UK registered charity with extensive experience of overseeing large-scale projects, will manage the project and receive donations.
We would be most grateful for your support of this very important recording.
William Vann, Founder and Chairman, London English Song Festival
PROMETHEUS UNBOUND: SUPPORT LEVELS
£10,000: CONDUCTOR’S CIRCLE
With a gift of this scale you can make a huge difference to the effectiveness and scope of our projects. You will receive private access to our entire rehearsal process and recording sessions, a VIP invite to recording launch events and future concerts (including receptions) a special mention in all programmes and in CD booklets and regular, personal updates from the LESF team & William Vann.
This is also an immensely important level of support to us. You will receive private access to our rehearsal process and recording sessions, an invite to recording launch events and future concerts (including receptions) a special mention in all programmes and CD booklets and regular, personal updates from the LESF team & William Vann.
£2,500: GOLD FRIEND
You will receive, as thanks for your support, access to our recording sessions, an invite to recording launch events, a special mention in all programmes and CD booklets and regular, personal updates from the LESF team & William Vann.
£1,001: SILVER FRIEND
You will receive access to our recording sessions, a special mention in all programmes and CD booklets, and regular, personal updates from the LESF team about the project.
£500: BRONZE FRIEND
You will receive a credit in all programmes and CD booklets, access to one recording session and regular, personal updates from the LESF team about the project.
You will receive a credit in all programmes and CD booklets and regular updates from the LESF team about the project.
Alternatively, you can pay us directly via BACS – if so please get in touch directly via the contact form or call 07966 149039, or write a cheque to London English Song Festival and post to London English Song Festival, c/o William Vann, 14 College Court, London SW3 4NL.