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Stanford: Stabat Mater, etc / Hickox, BBC Philharmonic

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> Stabat mater, Op. 96 - Prelude –
> Stabat mater, Op. 96 - Quartet and Chorus: Stabat Mater dolorosa
> Stabat mater, Op. 96 - Intermezzo –
> Stabat mater, Op. 96 - Quartet and Chorus: Eja Mater, fons amoris
> Stabat mater, Op. 96 - Quarter and Chorus: Virgo virginum praeclara
> 6 Hymns, Op. 113 - No. 1. A Song of Freedom
> 6 Hymns, Op. 113 - No. 2. A Song of Trust
> 6 Hymns, Op. 113 - No. 3. A Song of Hope
> 6 Hymns, Op. 113 - No. 4. A Song of Peace
> 6 Hymns, Op. 113 - No. 5. A Song of Battle
> 6 Hymns, Op. 113 - No. 6. A Song of Wisdom
> Te Deum, Op. 66 - Te Deum, Op. 66

Album Summary

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Stabat Mater Op. 96
>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Hymns (6), Op. 113
>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Morning Service (Te Deum, Jubilate) for chorus, brass & organ, in B flat major, Op. 10
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"...Chandos again puts in a bid to be crowned champion among all record companies as a purveyor of gloriously realistic sound - plangent, imposing, yet realistic and perfectly balanced. The soloists, the Leeds Chorus, The BBC Philharmonic, even the organist in the Te Deum are too good for individual praise. Together they deliver what may be the best recording old Sir C. V. Stanford has ever been anointed with..." -Johnson, Fanfare

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Writing of his old teacher in 1952, Vaughan Williams foretold that his time would come round again: 'With the next generation the inevitable reaction will set in and Stanford will come into his own.' It has taken more than a generation, but at last it does begin to look as though he was right.

This recording of a 'symphonic cantata', the Stabatmater, strong in ideas, deeply felt and structurally assured, will certainly strengthen the steadily growing appreciation of his worth. The Prelude, impressive as it is, is almost too soundly constructed, and the first choral movement, rich in its Verdi-like foreground of soloists, signs off with a slightly self-conscious repetition of the opening words by the soprano. Stanford is never abashed by the prospect of melodic commitment, and the orchestral Intermezzo comes out boldly with what promises to be a good, old-fashioned Grand Tune; but then he seems to remember where he is, and the piece ends with murky explorations that seem not quite to find what they may be seeking.

The work itself ends, as Lewis Foreman suggests in his useful notes, in Eternity: 'we seem to reach the crest of a hill only to find the path stretching onward and upward to another.' The performance carries conviction, with Hickox exercising that natural rightness of his so that in a work such as this, without predecessors on record, a listener will feel that this is how it should 'go'.

Fine orchestral playing and choral singing give pleasure throughout. The solo quartet is led by Ingrid Attrot's colourful but none too evenly produced soprano, and in the Bible Songs Stephen Varcoe sings sensitively to the judiciously registered organ accompaniment of Ian Watson. The most tuneful of Te Deums follows, blithe and buoyant in its orchestrated version.



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Works Details

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Stabat Mater Op. 96
  • Performers: Darius Battiwalla (Organ); Nigel Robson (Tenor); Pamela Stephen (Mezzo Soprano); Ingrid Attrot (Soprano); Stephen Varcoe
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Brass
  • Notes: Leeds Town Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire, England (11/17/1995-11/18/1995)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Hymns (6), Op. 113
  • Performers: Ian Watson (Organ); Stephen Varcoe
  • Running Time: 24 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1909

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : Morning Service (Te Deum, Jubilate) for chorus, brass & organ, in B flat major, Op. 10 :: Te Deum Laud
  • Performers: Darius Battiwalla (Organ); Nigel Robson (Tenor); Pamela Stephen (Mezzo Soprano); Ingrid Attrot (Soprano); Stephen Varcoe
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Brass
  • Notes: Leeds Town Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire, England (11/17/1995-11/18/1995)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1879