Prince Charles puffs up his fave composer
I have been invited to a film preview and am all a-twitter with excitement. The film has been made by the Heir to the Throne and it’s about a composer he really, really likes. He’s going to tell us why, for about an hour, I guess.
Now, normally I’d be off to a Royal Command like a corgie at lunchtime but what gives me pause here is that the composer Prince Charles declares he loves above all others, his lifetime number one, is the late Sir Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) who, for me, stands for all that is smug and regressive in English music. Not to say fawning, Germanic and derivative.
I’ve heard enough of it by now to know, and I’ve whiled away the empty minutes of those endless concerts composing subtitles for some of Sir Hubert’s great works, such as:
I Was Glad (when it was over)
Blest Pair of Sirens (keep them out of the tabloids)
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (what have I done to deserve this?)
Jerusalem (anywhere but here).
As for Job – the musical, don’t get me started.
So, much as I defer to royalty, wild horses won’t drag me to a film about Parry. Sorry, HRH, can’t make it. Pressing engagement in the country. Another country. Anywhere.