Famed musicologist Ripping Babushkin recently sent shockwaves throughout the musical world like an earthquake, atomic bomb, or electrified beach. He published an incendiary piece in Notes n’ Things magazine claiming that Hubert Parry’s compositions are at best acceptable but otherwise aren’t worth the time it takes to forget them.
Keen flag-waving tea-drinker Aunt Sally had this to say: “But…Jerusalem!”
Babushkin’s essay focused mainly on things like Parry’s compositional technique, harmonic language, and his ability to be orchestrated by Elgar. After extensive analysis Babushkin declared that Parry exhibited skill in only one of these areas and that his lasting value as a composer is of a parochial rather than objective kind.
Mouth-breathing cheese-eater John Man was appalled by the essay. “But…Jerusalem!” he said.
Babushkin conceded that some of Parry’s music has the sort of charm and jollity one could happily appreciate while asleep. “I knew that the essay would be unpopular,” he said. “Just last week I had to fight a mob in the street to buy a ticket to the LSO’s all-Parry concert.” However, he has no time for Parry’s trademark use of angular, unstable melodies harmonised poorly and set against sugar-coated marching band rhythms within pedestrian formal structures that fans have come to adore. He hopes the essay will cause a reappraisal of Parry’s works and thus reduce the amount of concerts featuring Parry from one every four years to one every generation. “Sometimes, you just need to remember that a composer existed.”
Bus-riding hat-wearer Bob Guy was furious. “But…Jerusalem!” he said.