Charles Hubert Parry

He is the famous composer of Jerusalem and I was glad... but what to call him?!

Our usual source of knowledge on the subject, The New Groves, is ambiguous: Parry, Sir (Charles) Hubert (Hastings). Do the brackets mean that the names are optional and should be dropped? It's not clear, though the volume in question does use page headings of Parry, Hubert, which suggests the answer is 'Yes'. My 1940 copy of the old Groves lists him as PARRY, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings, with no indication of optionality for any of the names... but then goes on to list him as plain 'Hubert Parry' in the opening of its second paragraph and includes a photo of him captioned 'Hubert Parry'.

Yet if you look at the front page of any of his scores, you'll always see this sort of thing:

...where the name is invariably listed as C. Hubert H. Parry. The C and H bits were clearly not optional to him, then: though he initialised them rather than spelled them out, he didn't dispense with them completely (compare, by way of contrast, with Britten, whose first name Edward never appears on his published schools, whether as an initialism or not).

Nonetheless, I can find no indication of anyone calling him 'Charles' in letters, diary entries or the like -and, from the point of view of consistency, if I'm going to drop the 'Hastings' (which I always do), I can't quite see why the 'Charles' should be treated any more favourably.

There is also the not-so-small matter of how he's buried. In St. Paul's Cathedral, London as it turns out... and his grave, despite being casually bestrewn with chairs, is as follows:

The grave marker was arranged and organised by the likes of Charles Villiers Stanford, a long-time colleague, and his daughter Gwendoline Maud Greene. The same people were also involved in the dedication of a memorial to Parry that stands in Gloucester Cathedral which reads... Hubert Parry - Musician. I think Stanford and Gwendoline probably would have known how best to call the man! I'm therefore inclined to think I've miscatalogued him: he should be filed under 'H', not 'C' ...and I shall accordingly be back here to write more after I've done that!!

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(since January 9th 2021)

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