Prince Charles and Durham expert in Christmas Day documentary on composer of ‘Jerusalem’

20 December 2011
 HRH Prince Charles and   Dibble

HRH Prince Charles and Dibble

Prince Charles and Durham expert in Christmas Day documentary on composer of ‘Jerusalem’

A Durham music expert will star alongside Prince Charles in a Christmas Day programme about the composer of some of Britain’s best known anthems.

Professor Jeremy Dibble from Durham University’s Department of Music spent an hour with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales discussing the music of Sir Hubert Parry as part of a unique BBC documentary.

Professor Dibble is an expert on British music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and produced a major study of the composer in 1992.

The Prince And The Composer, a film about Hubert Parry by HRH The Prince of Wales, is to be screened on BBC Two on Christmas Day at 3.10pm. This is HRH’s first film about classical music.

Sir Hubert Parry is simultaneously one of Britain’s best known and least known composers. Jerusalem is almost a national song, regularly performed at rugby grounds, schools, Women’s Institute meetings, and the Last Night of the Proms. Dear Lord and Father of Mankind is one of Britain’s best-loved hymns.

In The Prince and the Composer, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a longstanding enthusiast for Parry’s work, sets out to discover more about the complex character behind it, with the help of members of Parry’s family, scholars and performers.

This feature length documentary by the award-winning director John Bridcut offers fresh insight into the life and work of Parry through the unique perspective of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Professor Jeremy Dibble said: "After important documentary films about iconic British composers, Vaughan Williams and Elgar, both of whom recognised Parry as the leader of their art in this country, this substantial documentary comes not a moment too soon in celebrating one our country’s greatest and most influential composers.

"I have long admired Parry’s music and it is a particular thrill to see how the stature of this giant figure in British music is increasingly being recognised for his pioneering work as a composer, teacher, thinker and artistic leader.

"Parry the man and musician is full of surprises. Often thought to have been a traditional pillar of Britain’s musical establishment, this documentary reveals how Parry was a tortured, melancholy, nervous, lonely, yet deeply passionate man, an unbeliever, a radical thinker and someone who refused to follow convention."

Professor Dibble previews the documentary in the June edition of the BBC Music Magazine (www.classical-music.­com/issue/june-2011) where he describes working with HRH The Prince of Wales during the making of the documentary and how, over a number of years, the Prince has nurtured a growing admiration for not only the well known works of Parry - many of which featured in the recent Royal Wedding celebrations - but also the symphonic and piano works.

Durham University’s Department of Music is a world-leading centre for research on British music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Professor Dibble produced a major book on Parry published by Oxford University Press in 1992 and has been involved with a substantial number of commercial recordings of Parry’s music as well as scholarly editions and articles.

The Prince and the Composer will be broadcast on BBC Two on Christmas Day at 3.10pm.

 

 
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