Parry, Charles Hubert


Parry, Charles Hubert

Overture to The Frogs (1892 original version for small orchestra / edited by Phillip Brookes / first print)



Charles Hubert Hastings Parry – Overture to The Frogs

(b. Bournemouth, 27 February 1848 – d. Rustington, 7 October 1918)

(original version for small orchestra)

In the late 19th century both Oxford and Cambridge universities revived an old tradition of performing classical Greek plays in Greek. Cambridge had begun it in 1883 with Aristophanes’ The Birds, for which the young Hubert Parry wrote incidental music (MPH score no 624). By 1892 he was Professor of Music at Oxford, and wrote a score for the university’s production of another of Aristophanes’ comedies, The Frogs (Βάτραχοι).

Dionysus and his servant Xanthias descend into Hades to seek the answer to the question: was Euripides a greater tragic poet than Aeschylus? Dionysus (fat, timid and effeminate) is disguised as the hero Heracles, and Xanthias upstages him at every opportunity. A Chorus of frogs comments on the action, with its famous cry of “Brekekekéx-koáx-koáx” (Βρεκεκεκέξ κοάξ κοάξ).

Parry’s score has just one orchestral piece capable of standing alone – this charming overture, written in a combination of baroque parody and popular song. In 1912 Parry revised it and rescored it for large orchestra; that version will also be published in this series.

Phillip Brookes, 2021

For performance material please contact Musikproduktion Höflich (, Munich.

Score Data

Special Edition

The Phillip Brookes Collection




210 x 297 mm

Performance Materials



First print



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