Belated sad news: Eric Parkin, champion of British piano music, especially by Arnold Bax and John Ireland, died on February the Third at the age of 95.
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Eric Parkin’s death, only recently reported, reminds me that at the Proms he played the John Ireland Concerto three times with Sargent and the BBC SO (1953, 1954, 1959). His only other appearance, with the LSO and Basil Cameron, 19 August 1957, also included Ireland, the Legend, but with Mendelssohn’s Second Concerto in the first half. For many listeners his broadcasts were the soundtrack of the post-war years, largely but not only centered around relatively unfamiliar repertory. He set an idiomatic benchmark. Concert-wise, along with many others, he lost BBC favour with the advent of the Glock era, tonal British music failing to compete with Stockhausen, Boulez et al. But he enjoyed a golden Indian summer with Chandos, as well as adding to the catalogue with LPs for Lyrita and Unicorn. His recordings of William Baines’s piano music – a remarkable repertory I discovered early into the 70s – remain, so far as I am aware, uncontested.