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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: tjguitar on May 19, 2007, 08:06:45 PM

Title: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: tjguitar on May 19, 2007, 08:06:45 PM
We were talking about Stanford in another thread, I don't recall which, but I felt the composer deserved his own.

I haven't ventured out into his choral music, but am pleased with two sets that I have of his orchestral music:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/5195B3K4N4L._AA240_.jpg)(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CBMNF27EL._AA240_.jpg)

I really enjoy the piano concerto which reminds me of Rachmaninov, the concert variations are fun too. I prefer the rhapsodies to the symphonies overall, but that's no slack on the symphonies.  I wish there was more of his orchestral output on disc, though I'm not sure how much else he composed?  I have not ventured out into his chamber music yet.


edit: I forgot to ask, does anyone have the following disc?:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/f3/41/b6494310fca07729769b4010.L.jpg)

Is it similar to his 2nd Concerto or a much different composition?

Thanks
TJ
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 20, 2007, 06:25:03 AM
We were talking about Stanford in another thread, I don't recall which, but I felt the composer deserved his own.

edit: I forgot to ask, does anyone have the following disc?:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/f3/41/b6494310fca07729769b4010.L.jpg)

Is it similar to his 2nd Concerto or a much different composition?


TJ - I own that Hyperion disc of the Parry & Stanford Piano Concertos (probably have at least a dozen of the CDs in this Romantic piano series) - fine performances, but these are the only compositions that are in my collection of these composers - I've not heard the 2nd Concerto, so can't comment specifically.  :)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on May 20, 2007, 07:16:13 AM
I have both discs. The idiom is similar in both concertos. I prefer the Irish Rhapsodies (espec. No 4) and the fine Irish Symphony.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: 71 dB on October 25, 2007, 05:28:42 AM
Thanks to Mark I listened yesterday Stanford's Piano Quintet & String Quintet 1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stanford-Piano-Quintet-String-No/dp/B000BOIWT6/ref=sr_1_22/202-9113303-0581422?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1193321984&sr=1-22).

Nice music.  :) I found the music organised and little stanford-offish.  ;D

That Hyperion disc has excellent sound!
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: JoshLilly on April 24, 2008, 06:09:39 AM
I got an opportunity to get the complete Chandos set of Stanford's symphonies, used, and took advantage. My only inkling of what I might expect was based off the Stanford+Parry CD from The Romantic Piano Concerto series. I liked both of those piano concerti at least a little, so thought I might take a chance without too much expense.

Stanford is a bit odd. I like almost all the material he uses as it is introduced, but unfortunately, every single one of the seven symphonies feels too long for me. Not only that, but every movement! That being said, though, I at least like all 7 of them. I'm kinda neutral to the Clarinet Concerto. I guess my favourite symphony might be #4.

Better than the symphonies, I really enjoy the tuneful, well-crafted orchestral Irish Rhapsodies! I can't believe I've gone so long without ever hearing them; I don't even remember hearing of them until a couple of months ago. What he does with the themes makes for real fun listening.

The CD liner notes for the set are on the skimpy side, and I'm having a hard time finding out much about these works in particular. I'd be interested in reading more detail, or just opinions. In any case, all told, I'm pretty happy with getting this set, there's lots of really good stuff here.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Dundonnell on April 24, 2008, 07:55:46 AM
Stanford's Piano Concerto No.3(orchestrated by Geoffrey Bush) and coupled with his early Cello Concerto is available on Lyrita(SRCD 321).
The Violin Concerto coupled with the Suite for Violin and Orchestra with Anthony Marwood as a fine soloist comes on Hyperion CDA67208 in that company's Romantic Violin Concerto series.

I rather like his big choral pieces. There is a Chandos coupling of the Stabat Mater with the Bible Songs(CHAN 9548-Hickox, as usual!) and there is/was a splendid 2 disc Marco Polo of the huge Requiem(8.223580-1).

The recent Chandos CD coupling the Songs of the Fleet, Songs of the Sea and 'The Revenge' with Gerald Finley as a masterful solo baritone won awards, if I recall.

Stanford was a hugely influential teacher in his time even if many of his pupils ended up in rebellion against his rooted conservatism. Sadly, he lived long enough to be almost completely forgotten and ignored. It is heartening that his music has enjoyed such a recent revival even if-ultimately-he was a worthy rather than inspired composer.

I would like to hear the views of others in relation to a comparison between Stanford and Parry. I sometimes think that Parry had more imagination but then change my mind again!

(Incidentally, I possess an orchestral score for Stanford's Prelude to 'Oedipus Rex' with Sir Henry Wood's autograph stamp on it. Don't know where it came from and wonder if it has any value?)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on April 24, 2008, 08:52:44 AM
I like symphonies 3 and 5 but better still are the Irish Rhapsodies (No 4 is my favourite). I agree that the other symphonies seem to drag on a bit.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: The new erato on April 24, 2008, 12:30:15 PM


The recent Chandos CD coupling the Songs of the Fleet, Songs of the Sea and 'The Revenge' with Gerald Finley as a masterful solo baritone won awards, if I recall.



I can certainly vouch for this; splendid sound as well:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CHSA5043.jpg)

awards:
• MDT Best Seller of the Year - December 2006
• Gramophone Editors Choice Disc of The Month - July 2006
• MDT Best Seller - June 2006
• Times Classical CD of the Week - June 2006
• Telegraph Classical CDs of the Week - May 2006
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: tjguitar on October 24, 2008, 10:12:27 PM
It seems Lloyd Jones has recorded 6 of the Stanford symphonies for NAXOS. I think I'll stick with the Handley for now...


http://musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2008/Oct08/Stanford_8570355.htm
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on October 18, 2009, 01:25:28 AM
If you like Stanford you may well enjoy Mortelman's 'Homeric Symphony' recently released on Hyperion. Not a great work but enjoyable and Stanford came to mind when I listened to it.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Lethevich on April 23, 2011, 09:08:59 AM
A bump for a really neat composer. The fifth symphony is excellent throughout, but has an especially fine final movement - overall it's probably my favourite of his symphonies along with the second. Odd how I find so many of Stanford's symphonies pick up greatly during the final movement - the third does too.

The interesting thing about Stanford, and something which elevates him to "really worth giving a shot" rather than just of niche interest is the general high quality of his entire output. The symphonies may not always find him at his best, but they never fail to interest me not simply as artful exercises in Mendelssohn/Brahms worship, but in how they look forward to the next generation of British composers in certain effects and tones. Some of his work would be of interest to someone who wants a less Wagnerian Bax, and so forth, although I should be careful not to over-stretch this tenuous point.

His concertos are very fine, and quite virtuosic - the second piano concerto is a real and dramatic concert work, no salon involved. Two of his Irish rhapsodies contain concertante elements, and these works look forward to the English tone poem of the first half of the 20th century along with pieces such as the Lark Ascending. His chamber music has been elegant and charming from what I have heard (violin sonatas, two quartets, etc), although anyone looking for emotion or quotations could do well to avoid them, as they are highly classical/objective in form :) He also wrote well for piano solo.

He is known above all for writing reams of choral music, but its quality cannot be overstated - really wonderful service music with some exceptionally enjoyable secular works thrown in. His more concert-oriented Requiem is also really good stuff, marking a break from a perceived tradition of Victorian potboilers. That Chandos disc of sea songs mentioned earlier is a favourite of mine. This kind of music can sound chillingly fine with the kind of well-drilled cathedral choir which works of this style in England at the time tended to be written for.

He was even a notable composer of opera (c. 10 in total), and by all accounts expertly wrote for the medium, although we'll probably never know what much of the music is like, as the huge amount of late Romantic and early modern British operas written during the 'English musical Renaissance' were completely ignored by native programmers. It's nothing to do with quality, as the neglect of opera occurs throughout the output of even the most recognised of composers. I think that prior to Britten, and ignoring the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta tradition, only Vaughan Williams had any luck with having his operas performed and understood.

Stanford is a nifty little composer and don't feel that he's just one of these 'national' figures who only exist to add some Hawthornian idea of cultural weight to better elevate later composers - his music can stand on its own merits and has the quality to appeal to a broad audience.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 23, 2011, 01:13:42 PM
Sara - thanks for the update & the bump on this composer!  :D

I have acquired a few more of his works, i.e. Clarinet Concerto, Nonet, Piano/String Quintets, & Sea Songs, since my last post - but have not obtained any of his Symphonies - looking for some new recommendations here - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Lethevich on April 23, 2011, 02:00:00 PM
The original issues of the Chandos symphony volumes find themselves listed for low amounts on Amazon US marketplace every now and again (atm a few are at the $3 mark). The Chandos recordings are apparently sightly preferable to the Naxos ones, although those have gotten very good reviews too. Whichever you go for, you must also try the Chandos twofer reissue of the Irish rhapsodies (initially coupled one per symphony) with a piano concerto. The rhapsodies are very much in the Smetana mould, and don't give much ground to that composer in terms of quality.

For specific works the third symphony is his most popular, possibly due to its subtitle - the Irish - yet it's not quite full of the folksiness that one might expect, it's just a solid Stanford piece. Naxos helpfully couples two of my favourites, the 2nd and 5th. I should probably buy that one :) It's hard to pick between 2-6 as to which really stand out, but as a group they seem to be his best. The first is possibly a bit too long and undeveloped, the seventh is somewhat thin.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Mirror Image on April 23, 2011, 05:26:20 PM
Stanford composed one of the finest songs I've ever heard which is called The Blue Bird for solo voices. It's simple, but heartbreakingly beautiful. Of his other works, I really enjoy the symphonies (I own both Handley's and Lloyd-Jones' cycles), the concerti, the Irish Rhapsodies, but I have yet to break into his choral music outside of the part-song I mentioned above. I heard his Requiem is quite good, would anyone else here recommend it? If yes, what is a good recording? Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Lethevich on April 23, 2011, 05:39:40 PM
The Requiem was more or less totally unknown before the (very good) Naxos recording, although I hope somebody else will step in with some info so I don't look like I'm on a crusade or something. It's a really fine piece, although not as distinctive as the great ones. Musicweb has two reviews:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Nov04/Stanford_Requiem.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Feb05/Stanford_Requiem.htm

I particularly admire his choral music for some reason. The secular works (mainly suites themed on the navy) are excellent, and there are traces of the Gilbert & Sullivan tradition in effortlessly catchy tunes like The Little Admiral in Songs of the Fleet. The sacred works I find hard to criticise although it's equally difficult to pick highlights. I think that I like them most as repertoire pieces - his motets change nothing, in the grand scheme of musical history. If they were not written, another composer would have produced works to fill this gap in the corpus of the cathedral choirs. But at the same time I feel that Stanford, maybe even more than Parry, nailed the style. If he wrote anything more exciting it wouldn't fit the mould anymore. I suppose this does make them to some extent academic excercises, but this doesn't preclude their enjoyability - liking them must require affinity to their chosen style, as I've seen many Stanford fans not too engaged by this area of his output.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 23, 2011, 06:05:49 PM
The Requiem was more or less totally unknown before the (very good) Naxos recording, although I hope somebody else will step in with some info so I don't look like I'm on a crusade or something. It's a really fine piece, although not as distinctive as the great ones. Musicweb has two reviews:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Nov04/Stanford_Requiem.htm
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Feb05/Stanford_Requiem.htm

I particularly admire his choral music for some reason. The secular works (mainly suites themed on the navy) are excellent, and there are traces of the Gilbert & Sullivan tradition in effortlessly catchy tunes like The Little Admiral in Songs of the Fleet. The sacred works I find hard to criticise although it's equally difficult to pick highlights. I think that I like them most as repertoire pieces - his motets change nothing, in the grand scheme of musical history. If they were not written, another composer would have produced works to fill this gap in the corpus of the cathedral choirs. But at the same time I feel that Stanford, maybe even more than Parry, nailed the style. If he wrote anything more exciting it wouldn't fit the mould anymore. I suppose this does make them to some extent academic excercises, but this doesn't preclude their enjoyability - liking them must require affinity to their chosen style, as I've seen many Stanford fans not too engaged by this area of his output.
It is quite good, so a right and just crusade from my point of view (if you want one that is)! :) In any case, I completely agree with Lethe that it (the Requiem) is very good. And like her, I think the Rhapsodies are outstanding. I think they hold their own entirely.

I recently added the songs (on Hyperion), but I have not gotten around to ripping them yet (something of a backlog on that front). I'll eventually report on those. I've not really gotten to the other choral music...yet...
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Lethevich on April 23, 2011, 06:13:58 PM
but I have not gotten around to ripping them yet (something of a backlog on that front).

The story of my life! :'(

The two regions of his output that I have yet to encounter are his solo organ music and his solo (non choral) songs. I am especially looking forward to getting around to the latter, as I can't imagine them disappointing.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Sid on April 23, 2011, 07:43:30 PM
Yes, Stanford's Requiem is a fine work. It's definitely not a "fire & brimstone" requiem, a la Berlioz or Verdi. It has a lyrical Mendelssohnian quality. He starts and finishes off the work with a gentle horn call, which provides a kind of "frame" for the 80 minute long expanse. I especially like the lacrimosa where the soprano and mezzo soprano sing a very mournful song, gracefully intertwining their vocal lines and harmonies. A "valley of tears" indeed - Stanford's ability to set the Latin text was excellent. This work was a tribute to Lord Leighton, a great British painter of the time and a personal friend of the composer. Upon receiving the commission, Stanford - being a Protestant - apparently had some minor irks about setting the Latin (or Catholic) service, but thank goodness that he decided to go ahead with this project, because it simply is an outstanding work. The Naxos disc also has a number of bonus tracks to fill up the 2 disc set which are excerpts from one of his operas The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan. Here there is an overture, a song and some ballet music. It's a typically British kind of exotica - perhaps there is a hint of Arabian spice in there, but it's very faint. All in all this is a good set, particularly worth having if you like Romantic choral music...

Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Mirror Image on April 23, 2011, 07:56:55 PM
Here's the partsong, The Blue Bird, I mentioned earlier. Please excuse the audio it kind of distorts on the real high notes. Anyway, this work is just mesmerizing to me. Some of the most beautiful vocal melodies I've ever heard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNdeCzrdnpE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNdeCzrdnpE)

By the way, thanks to all for your suggestions.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Grazioso on April 24, 2011, 03:30:55 AM
I can certainly vouch for this; splendid sound as well:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CHSA5043.jpg)

awards:
• MDT Best Seller of the Year - December 2006
• Gramophone Editors Choice Disc of The Month - July 2006
• MDT Best Seller - June 2006
• Times Classical CD of the Week - June 2006
• Telegraph Classical CDs of the Week - May 2006

I recommend this disc, too. Quite a stunner on all counts: some gorgeous music, superlative singing, top-drawer engineering.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: SonicMan46 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):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jU04xevfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F4zx167ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Mirror Image 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):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jU04xevfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F4zx167ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

You simply can't go wrong with these releases. Both were my introductions to Stanford's music.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Sid 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...
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Lethevich 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 :)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford - Violin Concerto in D
Post by: Scion7 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.  :-(
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: kyjo 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Post by: Scion7 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford - unrecorded Stanford
Post by: Scion7 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 ... ?

Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Maestro267 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 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06pyttx)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: kyjo 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!
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: SymphonicAddict 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: kyjo 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.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: kyjo on July 26, 2020, 06:41:03 PM
Do you know the Irish Rhapsody No.4 Kyle? It is my favourite work by Stanford.

Well, now I do! :D What a fantastic work; Stanford at his most imaginative, colorful, and folksy.

My most recent Stanford discovery has been his Songs of the Fleet:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51inDYqJEhL._SS500_.jpg)

Another work which shows Stanford at his very best. It possesses a true melodic gift and is expertly written for both the voice and the orchestra. The songs alternate between lyrical/atmospheric and swashbuckling with that quintessentially "British naval" feel. I had the jaunty fourth song, The Little Admiral, stuck in my head for days after listening! Needless to say, the performances on this disc are exemplary.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on July 26, 2020, 09:13:55 PM
Well, now I do! :D What a fantastic work; Stanford at his most imaginative, colorful, and folksy.

My most recent Stanford discovery has been his Songs of the Fleet:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51inDYqJEhL._SS500_.jpg)

Another work which shows Stanford at his very best. It possesses a true melodic gift and is expertly written for both the voice and the orchestra. The songs alternate between lyrical/atmospheric and swashbuckling with that quintessentially "British naval" feel. I had the jaunty fourth song, The Little Admiral, stuck in my head for days after listening! Needless to say, the performances on this disc are exemplary.
I'm glad that you like the Irish Rhapsody No.4 Kyle. I must look out for 'Songs of the Fleet'.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 30, 2020, 12:48:19 PM
Good to see more love for this composer. Songs of the Fleet on that Chandos CD is the best work there without a doubt. Stanford at his most inspired.

This CD is also quite good:

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/8.573512.jpg)

Stabat Mater is the main work, but I was taken by the other pieces the most. Stanford was a substantial choral and vocal composer.
Title: Re: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Post by: Albion on January 09, 2021, 07:50:26 AM
Good news that the Stanford Society is continuing to promote the composer's larger-scale works following the splendid mass Via Victrix on Lyrita. According to the Chairman of the Society:

Both the BBC and Lyrita were delighted with the concert and recording of the Stanford Mass and asked Adrian Partington if there were any more Stanford choral works of the same quality that had been neglected and never been recorded. Adrian asked the Stanford Society if we had any suggestions? As it happened we did, as we had started to prepare a list of Stanford works to recommend to the Three Choirs Festival for future performance.

The two specific works which we recommended to Adrian are The Elegiac Ode (Op. 21) and the Te Deum (Op. 66). The Elegiac Ode was written by Stanford in 1884 to a commission from the Norwich and Norfolk Festival. It was warmly received at its premier but has had very few performances since. This work was the first time that Stanford set a poem by the American metaphysical poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892)...

The Latin Te Deum of 1898 was written for the Leeds Festival of that year. This is another of Stanford’s large scale choral work which was well received at its premier but has subsequently been neglected.

We have provided the scores of both the Elegiac Ode and Latin Te Deum to Adrian Partington. After review and discussion with the BBC he plans to conduct both works with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, its Chorus and appropriate soloists early in 2022. We are hopeful that these works will then be released on CD by Lyrita. I am very much looking forward to this concert and the subsequent recording.


 :)


Another exciting prospect:

https://somm-recordings.com/recording/stanford-songs-faith-love-nonsense/ (https://somm-recordings.com/recording/stanford-songs-faith-love-nonsense/)

 :)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: VonStupp on July 07, 2021, 01:34:24 PM
After hearing some surprisingly exquisite Stanford music today, I thought I would cross post...

In addition to Charles Stanford's justly famous The Bluebird, may I also proffer his Three Motets, op. 38 as worthy. A sort of neo-Palestrina style, with Palestrina's clear, arching structure and tryingly difficult, 8-part, a cappella choruses, quite similar to the wonderful a cappella motets by Bruckner.

Beati Quorum Via is perhaps my personal favorite with Voces8 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zgq5qrNGw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zgq5qrNGw)

There are some samples of them all on Presto: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7922578--hear-my-prayer (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7922578--hear-my-prayer) alongside VW & Parry, sung by His Majestie's Clerkes.

Charles Stanford
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A, op. 12; G, op. 81; B-flat op. 10; and C op. 115
The King's Consort & Choir - Robert King
(rec. 2012)

Wowsers, what a choral album! I came for the Parry, but I am glad I stayed for the Stanford. If you like choral music, make sure you pick this one up!

Pardon my ignorance, but I assume most of our friends east of the Atlantic are familiar with Stanford's Service Music. Yet, it is normally performed with boy choristers and pipe organ, and here it is with a period orchestra and adult mixed chorus, and oh my, what a difference it makes.

Far from functional, the orchestra really brings out the beauty of Stanford's music, hidden behind the service aspect. The chamber strings of the Nunc Dimittis in A open into the whole ensemble and quite simply takes my breath away. Catrin Finch's harping and Carolyn Sampson's soprano in the Magnificat in G is some of the most exquisite, heavenly utterances I have heard in a long while.

The King's Consort are using instruments from Stanford's time period (1895-1905), and not only do the booklet notes list all of the players, there are descriptions of each of the instruments that are being played.

The pipe organ is a Hauptwerk sampling of the Hereford Cathedral for their performance at St. Jude's, but it is hardly worth noting. Excellent!

(https://storage.highresaudio.com/web/imgcache/d8efde7e83e6aac5bba557275ca514c5/ia4bpa-iwasglad-preview-m3_550x550.jpg)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 08, 2021, 12:30:05 PM
After hearing some surprisingly exquisite Stanford music today, I thought I would cross post...

In addition to Charles Stanford's justly famous The Bluebird, may I also proffer his Three Motets, op. 38 as worthy. A sort of neo-Palestrina style, with Palestrina's clear, arching structure and tryingly difficult, 8-part, a cappella choruses, quite similar to the wonderful a cappella motets by Bruckner.

Beati Quorum Via is perhaps my personal favorite with Voces8 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zgq5qrNGw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zgq5qrNGw)

There are some samples of them all on Presto: https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7922578--hear-my-prayer (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7922578--hear-my-prayer) alongside VW & Parry, sung by His Majestie's Clerkes.

Have you heard Stanford's "In Haven" - absolutely stunning - up there with the finest unaccompanied British choral music.  It was included on this collection by Paul Spicer and his Birmingham Conservatoire Choir...

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/811zrvvEmBL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: VonStupp on July 08, 2021, 12:46:44 PM
Have you heard Stanford's "In Haven" - absolutely stunning - up there with the finest unaccompanied British choral music.  It was included on this collection by Paul Spicer and his Birmingham Conservatoire Choir...

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/811zrvvEmBL._SS500_.jpg)

I do love Spicer and his college choir. Maybe even more than his time with the Finzi Singers.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 09, 2021, 04:18:00 AM
I do love Spicer and his college choir. Maybe even more than his time with the Finzi Singers.

I think I agree with you.  The Finzi Singers could just be a bit "buttoned up" in their slightly self-concious perfection
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 10, 2021, 08:48:41 AM
Not prompted by this thread but jsut part-way through a first listen to this disc;

(https://img.discogs.com/Oe-ogG4WCNuPmsU2YtwOLLY-EvE=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-11310981-1513955957-4358.jpeg.jpg)

Gerald Finley has an ideal voice for this repertoire - robust and "hearty" in the best sense.  Also, the gentlemen of the BBC NOW Chorus have the upper range which often strains amateur choirs.  Great music!
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 11, 2021, 01:13:15 PM
I was listening to a couple of Stanford Symphonies today which happened to be adjacent to a couple of Schumann symphonies before.  I find it very hard to get beyond the sheer competence of Stanford to hear much of real inspiration and genius in these works.  I really DO want to believe that he isn't just Brahms without the jokes but I have to say I'm disappointed.... AGAIN with these works.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 11, 2021, 03:11:38 PM
I was listening to a couple of Stanford Symphonies today which happened to be adjacent to a couple of Schumann symphonies before.  I find it very hard to get beyond the sheer competence of Stanford to hear much of real inspiration and genius in these works.  I really DO want to believe that he isn't just Brahms without the jokes but I have to say I'm disappointed.... AGAIN with these works.

I consider symphonies 3-6 the best of the seven he composed. The other three sound uninspired, too mainstream. For me, the Chandos recordings are more satisfying than the Naxos ones.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Albion on July 12, 2021, 01:59:57 AM
Not prompted by this thread but jsut part-way through a first listen to this disc;

(https://img.discogs.com/Oe-ogG4WCNuPmsU2YtwOLLY-EvE=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-11310981-1513955957-4358.jpeg.jpg)

Gerald Finley has an ideal voice for this repertoire - robust and "hearty" in the best sense.  Also, the gentlemen of the BBC NOW Chorus have the upper range which often strains amateur choirs.  Great music!

I think that Benjamin Luxon's EMI recording is much finer in terms of both character and emotional power. He occasionally swoops around the printed vocal line, but that just adds to the nautical swagger...
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Albion on July 12, 2021, 02:07:56 AM
I consider symphonies 3-6 the best of the seven he composed. The other three sound uninspired, too mainstream. For me, the Chandos recordings are more satisfying than the Naxos ones.

My personal favourites are 5 and 6. There is a good thesis on Stanford's symphonies -

The symphonies of Charles Villiers Stanford: constructing a national identity?
Jonathan White (PhD, Oxford, 2014)


https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:6d16fac7-bb70-4ba9-bf0e-17c0a9f26ce5/download_file?file_format=pdf&safe_filename=THESIS01&type_of_work=Thesis (https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:6d16fac7-bb70-4ba9-bf0e-17c0a9f26ce5/download_file?file_format=pdf&safe_filename=THESIS01&type_of_work=Thesis)

 :)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 12, 2021, 02:11:54 AM
I think that Benjamin Luxon's EMI recording is much finer in terms of both character and emotional power. He occasionally swoops around the printed vocal line, but that just adds to the nautical swagger...

I always enjoyed Luxon's singing - full of character for sure.  I agree with your description of nautical swagger!  But that EMI recording is SO washy and the chorus flap around - one of that label's worst recordings technically!  Such a shame because I do rate Del Mar very highly.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Albion on July 12, 2021, 02:51:03 AM
I do rate Del Mar very highly.

Absolutely - a woefully-unrecorded and now largely forgotten conductor! The conclusion of Fare Well from Songs of the Fleet is much more overwhelming under his direction than that under the usually-reliable Hickox...
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: kyjo on July 12, 2021, 05:43:22 AM
The slow movement of the 6th Symphony is just gorgeous beyond words - it has an “Irish/Celtic” feel that foreshadows Bax in his more lyrical moments. It also has a considerable depth of feeling which I don’t usually associate with Stanford. I very much enjoy the whole symphony btw.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Albion on July 12, 2021, 06:44:07 AM
The slow movement of the 6th Symphony is just gorgeous beyond words - it has an “Irish/Celtic” feel that foreshadows Bax in his more lyrical moments. It also has a considerable depth of feeling which I don’t usually associate with Stanford. I very much enjoy the whole symphony btw.

Stanford was a master of the slow movement - that of the 6th symphony is simply sublime, as are those of the 1894 and 1911 piano concertos....
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 12, 2021, 12:18:49 PM
Absolutely - a woefully-unrecorded and now largely forgotten conductor! The conclusion of Fare Well from Songs of the Fleet is much more overwhelming under his direction than that under the usually-reliable Hickox...

+1 - years ago my mother recalled singing in a performance of this work where a choir member had recently lost a child and she said that the performance nearly broke down during farewell because of all the associated emotion....

Perhaps Stanford is one of those lucky/unlucky composers who had a surfeit of technique so that when inspiration failed they could still churn out perfectly serviceable music by the yard!  At his best he is a nailed on genius but for me too often I have a feeling a composing by (Austro-Germanic) numbers........preparing to duck.........
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Biffo on July 12, 2021, 11:51:22 PM
+1 - years ago my mother recalled singing in a performance of this work where a choir member had recently lost a child and she said that the performance nearly broke down during farewell because of all the associated emotion....

Perhaps Stanford is one of those lucky/unlucky composers who had a surfeit of technique so that when inspiration failed they could still churn out perfectly serviceable music by the yard!  At his best he is a nailed on genius but for me too often I have a feeling a composing by (Austro-Germanic) numbers........preparing to duck.........

A biography of RVW (or possibly a set of essays)  I read a while ago (now can't remember which one) suggested that Stanford was a more charismatic personality than his two previous teachers, Parry and Wood but his method of teaching was aimed at training composers to survive in the late-Victorian music market. This involved composing oratorios and  rehearsing and conducting them with the numerous choral societies. Possibly Stanford churned out a lot of stuff to meet the same market.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2021, 01:39:59 AM
Vaughan Williams, referencing Bax, commented that perhaps 'he should have had some gruelling lessons with Stanford' but, on reflection, added that they would probably have just argued. I must revisit Stanford's 6th Symphony, partly because it's in memory of G.F. Watts - an artist whom I greatly admire. Stanford was obviously a great teacher, as can be seen by the large number of excellent composers who learnt from him.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 13, 2021, 07:13:39 AM
BOY! I've not posted to this thread in a decade or so (repost below from the listening thread today) - since then, I've acquired some more of Stanford's instrumental works and am currently listening to a Spotify playlist of his 8 String Quartets (see the attached reviews, if interested?) - I've heard a number of his 'vocal recordings' (several discussed recently) but just not a collector of this genre, especially post-Baroque - just me.  Dave :)

Quote
Stanford, Charles Villiers (1852-1924) - String Quartets w/ the Dante Quartet - there has been a LOT of activity on the composer's thread lately - my collection has increased over the decade and now own the recordings charted below, all instrumental works (not a huge collector of choral/vocal works post-Baroque, just me and despite Stanford's high standing in his writing for voice, whether sacred or seccular).

Stanford wrote 8 String Quartets - I'm listening from a Spotify playlist which also includes the Dante Quartet doing his String Quintets, thus recordings from 4 CDs - my British Music cabinet is FULL, so don't plan to purchase these CDs separately - if boxed into a small container, then a consideration, but Spotify on my den speakers sounds fine; these have received a lot of 'review attention' - attached are both Fanfare and MusicWeb comments on all of the works for those interested.  Dave :)  P.S. click images to enlarge.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Miscellaneous/i-KGsmRvh/0/e979e06e/O/StanfordSQs.png)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Miscellaneous/i-jD9RFjh/0/bcd1e609/O/StanfordCollection.png)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: kyjo on July 14, 2021, 08:38:17 AM
I consider symphonies 3-6 the best of the seven he composed. The other three sound uninspired, too mainstream. For me, the Chandos recordings are more satisfying than the Naxos ones.

Nos. 3 and 6 are the definite standouts for me - even nos. 4 and 5 didn’t really grab me. I do recall enjoying the finale of no. 1 with its catchy main theme.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 14, 2021, 08:59:09 AM
Nos. 3 and 6 are the definite standouts for me - even nos. 4 and 5 didn’t really grab me. I do recall enjoying the finale of no. 1 with its catchy main theme.

The 5th has some gorgeous music. The ending is quite uplifting.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 14, 2021, 10:28:50 AM
The 5th has some gorgeous music. The ending is quite uplifting.

I have to slightly step back from my earlier comments!  The disc I was listening to was the Handley recording of the 2nd & 3rd Symphonies and I wrote my comment after No.2 only.  Today I completed the disc and did enjoy No.3 a lot.  I still find the bare-faced quote from Brahms intriguing! Was Stanford thinking "If Brahms can 'quote' Beethoven in a symphony I can quote Brahms!"  Whatever the reason it sounds pretty glorious. Helped as ever by those vintage Chandos recordings from the Ulster Hall in Belfast.  The acoustic there gives a warmth and ring to the orchestra that suits the music to a tee.

Jeffrey mentioned enjoying Watts as an artist.  Many forum readers will know the Watts Gallery tucked in the hill next to the A3 in Surrey.  If not its well worth a visit - a curious oasis of Victorian ethos so close to a bustling main road to London! The italianate chapel down the hill is a minor wonder/folly too!

(https://mk0surreyhillsnfif4k.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/watts-galleryDetail.jpg)(https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/sites/default/files/watts%20cemertary%20chapel%20nick%20garrod%2032.0.jpg)(https://www.explorechurches.org/sites/default/files/styles/hero_image/public/2020-07/SurreyCOMPTONWattsChapel%28lenwilliamsCC-BY-SA2.0%291.jpg?itok=QVZI8uef)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 14, 2021, 10:28:59 AM
Re-post from the listening thread - the attached reviews of Lloyd-Jones are excellent - Dave :)

Quote
Stanford, Charles Villiers (1852-1924) - Symphonies w/ Vernon Handley and the Ulster Orchestra recorded 1987-1991 - I've been listening to Stanford's chamber works most of the week; will spend the afternoon and tomorrow on his symphonies, composed between 1876-1911 - listening on headphones - sound is excellent for these 30+ year old recordings (DDD) - the main competition is shown below, right, i.e. David Lloyd-Jones and the Bournemouth SO on Naxos in 4 volumes - I could find numerous reviews of the Naxos recordings (attached) but virtually none searching Fanfare, MusicWeb, AllMusic, and ClassicsToday for Handley; BUT, the reviews virtually always make mention of comparisons to Handley, which in my reading seems to be a 'toss up' although the more recent Naxos sound may have an edge at times?  Just made a Spotify playlist of the 4 Lloyd-Jones recordings and will give a listen.  Dave :)

P.S. Naxos should box these up in a 'thin' package, but likely if done will just put 4 single jewel cases together, their usually approach!

(https://www.chandos.net/artwork/CH9279.jpg)  (https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-QsmfxNj/0/2d94b844/O/StanfordNaxos.png)
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on July 14, 2021, 11:14:09 AM
The 5th has some gorgeous music. The ending is quite uplifting.
3 and 5 are my favourite + the Irish Rhapsody No.4.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on July 14, 2021, 11:27:42 AM
I have to slightly step back from my earlier comments!  The disc I was listening to was the Handley recording of the 2nd & 3rd Symphonies and I wrote my comment after No.2 only.  Today I completed the disc and did enjoy No.3 a lot.  I still find the bare-faced quote from Brahms intriguing! Was Stanford thinking "If Brahms can 'quote' Beethoven in a symphony I can quote Brahms!"  Whatever the reason it sounds pretty glorious. Helped as ever by those vintage Chandos recordings from the Ulster Hall in Belfast.  The acoustic there gives a warmth and ring to the orchestra that suits the music to a tee.

Jeffrey mentioned enjoying Watts as an artist.  Many forum readers will know the Watts Gallery tucked in the hill next to the A3 in Surrey.  If not its well worth a visit - a curious oasis of Victorian ethos so close to a bustling main road to London! The italianate chapel down the hill is a minor wonder/folly too!

(https://mk0surreyhillsnfif4k.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/watts-galleryDetail.jpg)(https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/sites/default/files/watts%20cemertary%20chapel%20nick%20garrod%2032.0.jpg)(https://www.explorechurches.org/sites/default/files/styles/hero_image/public/2020-07/SurreyCOMPTONWattsChapel%28lenwilliamsCC-BY-SA2.0%291.jpg?itok=QVZI8uef)
Oh, I've been to the Watts Gallery and Chapel many times (my in-laws live quite near to it). RS is right, it's well worth a visit. I even sent one of my History of Art students there to research for her A Level coursework (the Curator was very helpful). Watts was an interesting character. He went to visit friends for the weekend and stayed for 40 years! His painting 'Hope' is one of my favourites and, in a few weeks time, I hope to visit his statue of Tennyson (with his dog) outside Lincoln Cathedral:
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: amw on July 14, 2021, 01:06:44 PM
No. 6 is the only symphony I rate. Neither of the two recordings is completely satisfactory, but I can’t tell if that’s the fault of overly timid interpretations or simply bad orchestration. The music seems comparable to early Strauss or early Elgar both in character and in quality, but slightly closer to the former (eg pieces like the violin and cello sonatas, violin concerto, Aus Italien etc).
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: aligreto on November 28, 2021, 08:47:17 AM
I recently re-listened to Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies [Handley]


(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/BRQAAOSwP1dgWmxM/s-l1600.jpg)


Irish Rhapsody No. 1
This is a fine, well executed work. Stanford weaves Irish folk music into a, then, modern sounding idiom. The music still sounds energetic and fresh in this presentation. The orchestration is very fine.

Irish Rhapsody No. 2
This music is very lyrical and I like its dark hues. The wonderful tone is crafted by the use of dynamics, wonderful harmonies and counterpoint, rich scoring filled with drama and tension and fine pacing. The orchestration is very fine and rich but it is never dense. This is a wonderfully multi-textured work. Handly has a very good feel for this music and it is given very fine treatment here.

Irish Rhapsody No. 3 
This is a very lyrical work. It is also a cell concertante work. Both elements combine wonderfully here. The music is both expansive and intense. There is a wonderfully natural flow to the cello line which is exciting and spirited. 

Irish Rhapsody No. 4 
I really like the tone and atmosphere of this work. The music is beguiling and very captivating. The scoring is wonderful and, as the music progresses, it becomes more expansive and atmospheric. The music is in a constant state of flux and the various changes in tone, pacing, atmosphere and levels of both tension and drama are always very compelling. This is wonderful music and music making. The levels of intensity are very engrossing. This work, and presentation, has a powerful presence.

Irish Rhapsody No. 5 
I find the tone of this work to be a curious mixture of the upbeat grounded on the disconcerting. The essentially joyful themes are not fully unleashed; something is, curiously, holding it back which I find to be quite intriguing. I find the central, slow, section to be quite idyllic yet still poignant. However, all is resolved at the conclusion. The harmonies and scoring are very fine and effective.

Irish Rhapsody No. 6 
I find that the emotionally charged concertante music of the opening section is wonderfully engaging with its relatively sparse but very effective orchestral accompaniment. I like the gradual augmentation in the orchestral forces as the work progresses. The work concludes on a jubilant and positive note. 
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: vandermolen on November 28, 2021, 09:49:32 AM
I recently re-listened to Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies [Handley]


(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/BRQAAOSwP1dgWmxM/s-l1600.jpg)


Irish Rhapsody No. 1
This is a fine, well executed work. Stanford weaves Irish folk music into a, then, modern sounding idiom. The music still sounds energetic and fresh in this presentation. The orchestration is very fine.

Irish Rhapsody No. 2
This music is very lyrical and I like its dark hues. The wonderful tone is crafted by the use of dynamics, wonderful harmonies and counterpoint, rich scoring filled with drama and tension and fine pacing. The orchestration is very fine and rich but it is never dense. This is a wonderfully multi-textured work. Handly has a very good feel for this music and it is given very fine treatment here.

Irish Rhapsody No. 3 
This is a very lyrical work. It is also a cell concertante work. Both elements combine wonderfully here. The music is both expansive and intense. There is a wonderfully natural flow to the cello line which is exciting and spirited. 

Irish Rhapsody No. 4 
I really like the tone and atmosphere of this work. The music is beguiling and very captivating. The scoring is wonderful and, as the music progresses, it becomes more expansive and atmospheric. The music is in a constant state of flux and the various changes in tone, pacing, atmosphere and levels of both tension and drama are always very compelling. This is wonderful music and music making. The levels of intensity are very engrossing. This work, and presentation, has a powerful presence.

Irish Rhapsody No. 5 
I find the tone of this work to be a curious mixture of the upbeat grounded on the disconcerting. The essentially joyful themes are not fully unleashed; something is, curiously, holding it back which I find to be quite intriguing. I find the central, slow, section to be quite idyllic yet still poignant. However, all is resolved at the conclusion. The harmonies and scoring are very fine and effective.

Irish Rhapsody No. 6 
I find that the emotionally charged concertante music of the opening section is wonderfully engaging with its relatively sparse but very effective orchestral accompaniment. I like the gradual augmentation in the orchestral forces as the work progresses. The work concludes on a jubilant and positive note.
Interesting survey Fergus. I think that No.4 is especially impressive. I noticed today that No.3 was included in the Chandos two CD release of British Cello Concertos.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: aligreto on November 28, 2021, 11:16:23 AM
Interesting survey Fergus. I think that No.4 is especially impressive. I noticed today that No.3 was included in the Chandos two CD release of British Cello Concertos.

A bit of a stretch, methinks.
Title: Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
Post by: aligreto on December 08, 2021, 06:52:31 AM
I recently finished this set with the two works below:


(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/BRQAAOSwP1dgWmxM/s-l1600.jpg)


Piano Concerto No. 2 [Fingerhut/Handley]: This work opens with a bang, literally. I find the opening movement to be very powerful with a great presence. This presentation of the first movement is frequently animated and always robust and assertive. The slow movement is also very lyrically but robustly, and eloquently, presented here with no sentimentality involved. The final movement here is an ardent, assertive affair. Both conductor and soloist are always in full control of their respective roles throughout this very fine performance. It is also a fine recording as far as  sound quality is concerned.


Down Among the Dead Men [Fingerhut/Handley]: This is my first time hearing this work. I was very impressed with both the work and this presentation. I find the work to be very interesting and engaging, musically. Intense and powerful, the work has a great presence. The performance from all concerned is lyrical but robust, assertive and always atmospheric.