Author Topic: Charles Villiers Stanford  (Read 8593 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2011, 05:25:10 AM »
Well, at this point (may add more later!), just ordered the 2 sets below from Amazon USA - looking forward to the 'Irish' works (one of my grandmothers was 100% Irish although born in the USA, her parents had immigrated):

 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2011, 05:28:18 AM »
Well, at this point (may add more later!), just ordered the 2 sets below from Amazon USA - looking forward to the 'Irish' works (one of my grandmothers was 100% Irish although born in the USA, her parents had immigrated):

 

You simply can't go wrong with these releases. Both were my introductions to Stanford's music.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Sid

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2011, 05:17:47 PM »
having more recently come to re-explore the choral realm in more depth recently, i have again enjoyed stanford's requiem & seen it in a new light. i have written about it earlier in this thread, but because i think i have a deeper appreciation of this man's art now, i posted my review below which i just finished writing for the "what are you listening to" thread. the image is in my earlier post on this thread, but i have listed full details of the set below -

STANFORD
- Requiem - soprano, mezzo, tenor, bass, choir & orch.
- Suite from "The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan" (Opera)
Irish soloists/RTE Phil. Choir/RTE National SO of Ireland
Adrian Leaper (with Colman Pearce in suite only), cond.
(Naxos - 2 disc set)

i bought this a year ago & have liked it ever since. it's the only recording i have of this composer. getting into this choral/vocal area - eg. with works like handel's "messiah," vivaldi's "gloria," faure's "requiem," mozart's "great mass in c," in the live format, and most recently haydn's "the creation" which probably made the hugest impact on me - i have come to appreicate stanford's requiem even more. like brahms, he probably wasn't a high voltage innovator like say beethoven, liszt or wagner were, but stanford's unique vision and "vibe" is unmistakably there in every bar, every note. it might not be technical (i don't know) but more philosophical or a "head space" kind of attitude thing. he was really an all-rounder and musical polymath in many ways, but his real passions lay in the choral realm. the choral harmonies in this work are just "to die for," totally out of this world, but not top-heavy like in some other requiems. it's hard to compare, but i hear some of verdi's italian warmth and flair in there, as well as mendelssohn's lyricism and understatement in how stanford writes for the orchestra. it's very subtle, but just as powerful as something more overtly dramatic (not much bombast here, he draws on the cymbals only about twice in the whole 80 minute piece). there are so many moments of genius here, it'd take me all day to go into it in detail as i'd like to. highlights for me are the "lacrimosa" in the fourth section "sequence - dies irae." stanford puts across the "vibe" of this valley of tears from which no departed souls ever return with such sensitivity and accuteness, it's depth is just unfathomable. many questions in this five minute section - eg. what lies after that valley of tears when we die? is there eternal life or just a void, nothing? another part is in the following section "offertorium" - the text speaks to us the living entrusting the souls of our departed loved ones to the care of god, in a "good" space, but it's beyond our reach. is this more in our minds, are we just kidding ourselves that this space actually exists? anyhow, the music of this short part is comforting and soothing beyond words. this requiem was written in memory of lord leighton, a great british painter who was not only a professional colleague but also a dear friend of the irish composer. no wonder, that even though stanford was of the protestant faith, this work setting the latin text from catholic sacred rites does away with these meaningless barriers. it's totally heartfelt, genuine, there is no hint of religious dogma of any kind in there. the forces are massive, but it's so intimate that it could have been written for only one instrument, like australian composer peter sculthorpe's "requiem for solo cello" which was also in memory of a dear departed freind of his. this is the only recording, done 70 years after the man's death. it's great that naxos has kind of gone "out on a limb" to put this work down on disc, my heartfelt commendations to them. like stanford, they are a label of little or no "********" - they are committed to putting out music, many things like this that deserve to be heard.

the "filler" here on the second disc is no less unique, but it's an orchestral selection/suite from one of the man's many operas that haven't seen the light of day for like 100 years. this work was premiered in germany. i particularly like how stanford uses the double basses and other lower string instruments in the ballet sections. like a famous part i remember in beethoven's 5th symphony, he gives these instruments, which are often relegated to the background, a huge "star turn." the song "there's a bower of roses" comes across as having the intimacy of art-song, it's more like that, not much like grand opera. for most of the song, the soprano sings accompanied by a harp, the irish national instrument.

in a word, this set is "awesome." yes, a cliche, but here it's use is highly warranted, imo...
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 03:18:25 PM by Sid »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2011, 01:57:57 AM »
You simply can't go wrong with these releases. Both were my introductions to Stanford's music.

Mine too. The Irish Rhapsody No 4 is my favourite.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2011, 05:27:05 AM »
Sid, it's great that you like this piece - I feel that it comes across as allowing the composer to flex his muscles after writing a lot of short works for the cathedral repertoire. Some find them workaday, I enjoy them a lot, but the Requiem is a definite attempt to write something far more transcendent and personal - I enjoyed your thoughts on it :)
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Offline Scion7

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford - Violin Concerto in D
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2012, 03:37:23 AM »
Here we have a long violin concerto (some 38 minutes) of "pretty" music that I don't think goes anywhere.
When looking at some of the master violin concertos from the Romantics - the Brahms, the Tchaikovsky, Barber's, etc., and their themes and thematic development, Stanford's Opus 74 is long-winded without the necessary amount of memorable melodies.  The Suite for Violin and Orchestra Opus 32 (28 minutes) fares a little better and is more listenable.

I'm glad Hyperion documented these works with excellent performances.  It's just too bad the violin concerto fails to rise to the occasion. Historically noteworthy but it would be a long sit at a concert.  :-(
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kyjo

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2013, 05:25:23 PM »
Just finished listening to Stanford's The Blue Bird on YouTube, recommended to me by John. Very nice! The harmonies in this work seem a bit more forward-looking than in most of Stanford's other compositions I have heard, almost impressionstic, in fact.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2013, 05:35:46 PM »
Just finished listening to Stanford's The Blue Bird on YouTube, recommended to me by John. Very nice! The harmonies in this work seem a bit more forward-looking than in most of Stanford's other compositions I have heard, almost impressionstic, in fact.

A beautiful work indeed, Kyle.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Scion7

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2015, 09:56:36 PM »
Does anyone have access to a photo of Stanford's bien aimée, Jane Anna Maria Wetton (Jennie) that they can post here?

The university library does not have a biography for him, and I don't plan on heading over to Davidson College until at least after January.

Thanks.
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Offline Scion7

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford - unrecorded Stanford
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2016, 12:36:35 AM »
String Quartets -    •   No. 3 in D minor, Op. 64 (1897)
   •   No. 4 in G minor, Op. 99 (1907)
   •   No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 104 (1908)
   •   No. 6 in A minor, Op. 122 (1910)
   •   No. 7 in C minor, Op. 166 (1919)
   •   No. 8 in E minor, Op. 167 (1919)

   •   String quintet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 86 (1903)

   •   Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 3, Op. 165 (1919)

   •   Piano Concerto in B flat major WoO (early- no. "0") (1874)
   •   Violin Concerto in D major WoO (early, 1875)

   •   Variations for violin and orchestra, Op, 180 (1921)

   •   Serenade in F major for Nonet, Op. 95 (1906)

A host of smaller works, also .... these need to be addressed!
Hello, Naxos, Hyperion, DG, Chandos ... ?

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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2018, 10:50:28 AM »
Tonight, in a little over 40 minutes, the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales will give the world premiere complete performance of Stanford Mass: Via Victrix (1914-1918) from the Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, and apparently it's being live-streamed. Quite possibly there may be regional restrictions, but I thought I'd post it here as it may be of interest here.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06pyttx

Offline kyjo

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2019, 08:17:45 PM »
I'm just beginning to realize what a fantastic composer Stanford was. People who dismiss his music as "academic" or "stuffy" clearly haven't given it a fair chance. Recently I've been endlessly delighted by works such as the 3rd and 6th symphonies, the 2nd piano concerto, and the Irish Rhapsody no. 5. Stanford showed a real gift for memorable melody and orchestration, and doesn't shy away from genuine profundity either, as in the slow movement of the 6th Symphony. If the names "Brahms" or "Tchaikovsky" were attached to any of his orchestral works, American orchestras would simply be eating them up!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2019, 09:24:19 PM »
I'm just beginning to realize what a fantastic composer Stanford was. People who dismiss his music as "academic" or "stuffy" clearly haven't given it a fair chance. Recently I've been endlessly delighted by works such as the 3rd and 6th symphonies, the 2nd piano concerto, and the Irish Rhapsody no. 5. Stanford showed a real gift for memorable melody and orchestration, and doesn't shy away from genuine profundity either, as in the slow movement of the 6th Symphony. If the names "Brahms" or "Tchaikovsky" were attached to any of his orchestral works, American orchestras would simply be eating them up!

Stanford is pretty consistent, not always, but you can find some fine gems from him. All the 6 Irish Rhapsodies belong to his most tuneful vein, I love all of them. The 3rd Symphony has echoes from Brahms in the slow movement (there is a motif in the 3rd mov. that is almost exact to that in the Brahms's 4th Symphony, 2nd mov.). At this moment I don't remember the other symphonies.

The Concert Variations on an English theme, Op. 71 for piano and orchestra is superb. His chamber music also looks promising.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2019, 11:31:53 PM »
I'm just beginning to realize what a fantastic composer Stanford was. People who dismiss his music as "academic" or "stuffy" clearly haven't given it a fair chance. Recently I've been endlessly delighted by works such as the 3rd and 6th symphonies, the 2nd piano concerto, and the Irish Rhapsody no. 5. Stanford showed a real gift for memorable melody and orchestration, and doesn't shy away from genuine profundity either, as in the slow movement of the 6th Symphony. If the names "Brahms" or "Tchaikovsky" were attached to any of his orchestral works, American orchestras would simply be eating them up!
Do you know the Irish Rhapsody No.4 Kyle? It is my favourite work by Stanford.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2019, 02:03:06 PM »
I'm just beginning to realize what a fantastic composer Stanford was. People who dismiss his music as "academic" or "stuffy" clearly haven't given it a fair chance. Recently I've been endlessly delighted by works such as the 3rd and 6th symphonies, the 2nd piano concerto, and the Irish Rhapsody no. 5. Stanford showed a real gift for memorable melody and orchestration, and doesn't shy away from genuine profundity either, as in the slow movement of the 6th Symphony. If the names "Brahms" or "Tchaikovsky" were attached to any of his orchestral works, American orchestras would simply be eating them up!

I haven't listened to a huge amount of Stanford, but I can't say I have the same experience, and comparing him to Brahms seems really out there. My recollection of symphonies 2 and 3 include attractive melodies, skillful orchestration but rather foursquare and prosaic. Nothing approaching the rhythmic complexity and subtlety of harmony and orchestration that I associate with Brahms. Perhaps I should be listening to Irish Rhapsodies instead of Symphonies.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2019, 01:09:35 AM »
I haven't listened to a huge amount of Stanford, but I can't say I have the same experience, and comparing him to Brahms seems really out there. My recollection of symphonies 2 and 3 include attractive melodies, skillful orchestration but rather foursquare and prosaic. Nothing approaching the rhythmic complexity and subtlety of harmony and orchestration that I associate with Brahms. Perhaps I should be listening to Irish Rhapsodies instead of Symphonies.
The Third Symphony 'Irish' is easily the best IMO although I also enjoy No.5. The others I find rather turgid but the PC2 and especially Irish Rhapsody 4 are well worth exploring.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2019, 05:14:21 AM »
My notes on the third are more positive than the second. I also have that Rhapsody set and should try the 4th.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2019, 12:20:47 PM »
Do you know the Irish Rhapsody No.4 Kyle? It is my favourite work by Stanford.

I don’t believe so, Jeffrey. I’ll be sure to check it out.
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