Stanford: Choral Music (CR027)
Review by Cross Rhythms
Listen and buy on Convivium Records
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) was a prolific and popular composer within the Anglican choral tradition and the chances are that if you have any sort of collection of sacred choral music or traditional hymn singing you will already have some of Stanford’s work. This pleasant collection includes some of Stanford’s best-known choral music alongside a number of works that are rarely performed and recorded. It has been supported by the Stanford Society and the programme notes have been compiled by Professor Jeremy Dibble, a leading authority on the composer’s music.
Winchester College Quiristers (trebles) have for over 625 years sung services in Winchester College Chapel. In modern times they have formed a choir (Winchester College Chapel Choir) renowned for its excellence, under the direction of Malcolm Archer. On three occasions since the Millennium, Quiristers have won the title of BBC Young Chorister Of The Year, by any standards an outstanding record. The choir stand comparison with any cathedral choir and those who appreciate traditional (code for all male) Anglican choral music will enjoy this release.
I particularly enjoyed “Watts’ Cradle Song” and the setting of “Psalm 150” but there are better tunes for “Oh! For A Closer Walk With God” and “The Lord Is My Shepherd” available. The “Benedictus In C” and “Te Deum In C” are both of their time (late Victorian/Edwardian) but that is of course inevitable when presenting a retrospective collection such as this. As I have said, if you enjoy traditional church choral music or are an admirer of C V Stanford you will enjoy this very much but those listening for general interest may find it too much of a muchness.
Steven Whitehead, Cross Rhythms, 1st October 2014
Cross Rhythms was started by Chris and Kerry Cole over 30 years ago. They saw that a media voice for the Christian faith was vital to get the Christian response to society’s ills back into the marketplace of everyday lives.
The radio began in 1983 with a half-hour programme on Plymouth Sound, an ILR station in Devon. The magazine was first published in April 1990, the first festival was held in 1991, the website was initially launched in 1995, the first Community Radio licence was awarded in 2002, the Media Training Centre was launched in 2012 and a Cross Rhythms supported online radio station in Bethlehem was launched in 2015.
Through all these mediums, Cross Rhythms is typified by using contemporary Christian music that can culturally engage with people who are outside the churches in today’s society. Cross Rhythms has also looked to communicate the Christian faith in a language that is accessible to contemporary culture but doesn’t water down it’s truths.
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