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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000547.txt from 2002/02

From: "Michael Bryant" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] John Parr
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 03:55:47 -0500

Thanks for your thoughts on Parr's concerts of
rare wind music !

I have already visited Sheffield myself and
have been in touch with Tom McCanna,
the University Music Librarian, over a long period
of time. He has been very helpful to me.
The University Library has a collection of
orchestral arrangements made by Parr and his friends
and used at the series of concerts. Each edition has its
concert programme enclosed.

Parr (died 1963) probably has no living relatives.
Sadly his wife was confined to a mental hospital and
his Will specifically excludes her from benefit.

His music collection was dispersed with the help of
William Waterhouse. He has a few pieces.
Some are now in other private hands, very little
in the British Library - all old prints,
except the Elgar wind quintets (2fl, no horn ).
Instructions were given in the Will that manuscripts
of works by living composers should be returned
to them, and I have been able to prove that it
happened in only a very few cases, such as to
the family of Alexander Brent Smith (who died earlier
in 1950) and George Linstead whose son is living
in the Midlands and has all his father's manuscripts.
I have published his Clarinet Sonata by Linstead.
Very like Hindemith. Mr Waterhouse thinks that
the BBC bought some Parr material but they
have been hitherto unwilling to co-operate in finding it.
(They may have disposed of it).

I searched the microfilms of the local Sheffield
newspapers at the Central Public Library and
found very little (unlike Croydon Library
which collected information about Coleridge Taylor).
They have no concert programmes.

I visited the Methodist Hall (Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street)
where the concerts took place and spoke to the minister,
who was extremely concerned that I should have
every assistance but they have not a single piece of
evidence related to the concert series. All the
cupboards have been cleared.

Sheffield has provided a home for Parr's collection of bassoons
but they do not have a collection of concert programmes.

The largest collection of concert programmes is at the British Library.
Parr sent them to Rendall (1890 -1953) who was on the staff
and author "The Clarinet" 1954. The earliest concert programme
is dated 1898 but the series began in 1930 and ended in 1957
- Parr wrote on the last programme "owing to inadequate

I would like to find relatives of the participating players.
I have 50-100 names. There is a chance they have something
in the attic. I have been searching for the lost unpublished music,
but without much success.

Rupert Kahn wrote on Thursday, February 28, 2002 12:58 AM
Subject: [kl] John Parr

> Michael
> I'm not sure what kind of help you want, but I could
> adapt your email and put up notices - asking people to contact you - in
> local music centres, University Music dept. and possibly music shops. I
> wouldn't go crazy fly posting, but over the next week or so I could
> myself able to put up a few notices where people who share your
> interest might see them. Would that be useful to you?
> I'll also ask some of my older relatives if they know about John Parr?
> I don't know if you meant that I should ask the gentleman I refered to
> about John Parr? I might be able to, but though I am trying to help
> regarding playing an instrument I am not particularly close, so I'm not
> sure.
> Rupert

Michael Bryant wrote on 23 February 2002 14:15
> Subject: Re: [kl] Elderly Begiinner?
> > Forgive my suggesting something slightly different.
> > I need some local help in Sheffield to recover
> > lost and buried information about John Parr.
> > Please ask if that would be agreeable?
> > This is local history. Parr worked as a clerk in the
> > goods sidings at Sheffield railway station for 40 yrs,
> > but had a parallel career as a singer and bassoonist.
> > After his retirement in 1930 he played is several leading
> > professional orchestras and organised a series
> > of concerts (1930-57) of chamber music
> > at the Methodist Hall, Sheffield, for wind instruments mostly,
> > including some works that have never been published.
> > I have an incomplete set of concert programmes
> > and copy of his will. An article about him
> > appeared in Musical Times in 1945. He died in 1962.
> > I can supply many other details, which must wait.
> > Thanks
> > MB
> >
> > Rupert Kahn wrote on Friday, February 22, 2002 9:46 PM
> > Subject: [kl] Elderly Begiinner?
> >
> > > As a returner to the clarinet I have really appreciated some of the
> > comments about how approach this. But I have a question on
someone elses behalf. I know an old gentleman who recently lost
his wife after about fifty years of marriage. He is well into his
70s and has a deep love of music. He is, understandably devastated,
and struggling to find something to fill his life. He has expressed an
interest in learning a musical instrument and the clarinet in particular.
> > >
> > > I'm sure he's not alone in wanting to begin a musical instrument at
> > > stage in his life and I wonder are there organizations or individuals
> > > (especially in the UK) with experience in meeting such needs.
> > >
> > > Rupert Kahn
> > > Sheffield
> > > UK
> > >
> > >
> > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------


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