Parry's Songs of Farewell were composed over the final decade of his life. The elegiac tone of the Songs may also reflect a sense of loss caused by the First World War - in which some of Parry's most promising students at the Royal College of Music lost their lives - and a decline in national confidence, expressed in a different manner in Parry's famous Jerusalem of 1916.
The motets are among Parry's most eloquent and concise works, and deservedly form part of the rich canon of British choral music.
This edition, by Associate Professor Robert Quinney, Director of the Choir of New College, Oxford, is the first to offer a critical assessment of the autograph manuscripts, held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It offers a significant earlier version of a section of the fourth motet, rescored passages from the fifth, helpful notes on performance, and supporting online materials. A comprehensive and practical edition, it also provides a clear and elegant presentation of the text.