We are now in the midst of preparing Parry’s Songs of Farewell for our June concert. I don’t expect anyone to believe me when I say this, but I really did include them in the 1st draft of this programme about 3 years ago – long before I thought that this might be my final concert. I must admit that I’ve never thought of these marvellous works as representing any particular genre of music – they’ve just been the Songs of Farewell.
If you’d pushed me, however, I’d have plumped for anthem or partsong. I was therefore a bit startled to see that, on the printed music, Parry (or his publisher) designates each piece a motet. Bearing in mind my previous observations on this term, this could well be the point at which an author of any dictionary of musical terms might give up. Perhaps the meaning of words really is in the mouth or mind of the user.
I would say this wouldn’t I, but there is some wonderful music to be heard in this programme. I’ve resisted the temptation to pack it with personal favourites, though there are one or two! Do join us, and remember that our tickets are cheaper when bought in advance.