Love, Whose Blessed Glow..., 1902. Margaret Armstrong, 1867-1944. Book illustration from Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1902, facing sonnet XIV. General Collections, Library of Congress. LC call number: PR4189.A1 1902
Parker's Three Choruses, op. 33, were originally cataloged in W. Oliver Strunk's 1930 list of Parker's works as "Six part-songs" for men's chorus. Three songs were not published and remain missing. The other part-songs, "Three Words," "My Love," and "Valentine," were published by G. Schirmer in 1893. Parker dedicated these pieces to the Galveston Quartette Society, a group founded in Galveston, Texas in 1891.
The texts are three love poems by William Barclay Dunham, Langdon Elwyn Mitchell, and Charles G. Blanden, respectively. "Three Words," the longest of the three pieces, has an expressively homophonic texture, emphasized by dramatic dynamic shifts, suspensions, accents, and a copious use of fermatas.
"My Love" is slightly less elaborate than the first piece, but contains a similar use of dynamic changes (from ff to ppp in the span of two measures). The narrator in the poem emphatically repeats, "No," he would not change his love for the "great and glorious sun." Parker sets the speaker's vehement "No's" to ff accents on a high B-flat in the first tenor part.
The final piece, "Valentine," is the most rhythmically interesting of the set, with several passages of linear independence and increasingly adventurous chromatic passing tones. All three of these unaccompanied TTBB [tenor 1, tenor 2, baritone, bass] settings lie within the appropriate range of each male voice type, and they are fashioned in the mildly sentimental style of the songs and glees popular with the male singing societies of the time.