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CVS: not a drug store

September 23, 2011

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924).

Stanford

As Andrew Nethsingha writes:

Stanford’s compositional output is most notable for its Anglican component, and it is not surprising that Stanford is still performed with notable regularity, with over eleven services and seven anthems, not to mention the 22 organ works to his name. Furthermore, his pupils included Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Ireland, Charles Wood, and Herbert Howells (acting Director of Music at St John’s College during World War II).

Having grown up in Dublin, Stanford came up to Queen’s College as both an Organ Scholar and a Classics Scholar. In 1884, Stanford was appointed Organist at Trinity College and the Choir flourished under his directorship. During these eight years, Stanford wrote a large body of music including the wonderful Three Latin Motets, and the canticles for this service, the Evening service in B flat. First performed in 1879, Stanford moves away from the accepted “choral” norm where the primacy of the clarity of words inhibited the use of more complex textures… the meaning of the text is enhanced by the more instrumental setting, particularly the use of the organ in more than a purely accompanying role, but as a payoff, the choir must work particularly hard to deliver the words clearly.

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