Stanford: Choral Music

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A collection Stanford’s choral music performed by Winchester College Chapel Choir conducted by Malcolm Archer.

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Description

About this release

This delightful collection includes some of Stanford’s best-known choral music alongside a number of works that are rarely performed and recorded.

Generously supported by the Stanford Society, the booklet programme notes have been compiled by Professor Jeremy Dibble, a leading authority on the composer’s music. The cover portrait was commissioned for this release and included in the booklet are a number of images of Stanford’s manuscripts, kindly reproduced with permission from the Royal School of Church Music.

Commissioned Programme Note

Born into an upper-middle-class family in Dublin in 1852, Charles Villiers Stanford received the core of his musical education in the organ lofts of the Irish capital’s two cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick’s. An organ scholarship to Queen’s College, Cambridge in 1870 enabled him to spread his wings, and migration to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1873 allowed even greater scope with its choir school and expanding choir of boys and men. Church music was therefore in Stanford’s blood from a tender age and it was one of many idioms in which he shone as a composer. Perhaps more importantly, Stanford’s cosmopolitan outlook allowed him to develop and experiment with traditional Anglican forms. Through the agencies of symphonic treatment and modern instrumental forms, the canticle, anthem, hymn and psalm were transformed in his hands while remaining (and therein lies the miracle) within the parameters of time restriction imposed by the liturgy. Even more astounding is the sheer range, quality and originality he was able to bring to these works throughout his career, well after he gave up employment as a church musician in 1892.Read more

About the artists

Winchester College Chapel Choir

Winchester College Chapel Choir sings the regular services in Winchester College Chapel. Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, in 1382, and Winchester College Quiristers have for over 625 years sung services in Winchester College Chapel. In modern times they have formed a choir renowned for its excellence, and their musical director is Malcolm Archer.

The Quiristers, who form the top line of the choir, perform a wide variety of music at home and abroad. They benefit from bursaries, a first rate all-round education, and a particularly broad musical training. This builds confidence, teamwork and a commitment to the highest standards. The Quiristers also sing on their own as a concert choir, as well as with Winchester College Chapel Choir. The senior boys from the College, many with previous experience as both choristers and Quiristers, provide the lower voices.

Since 1966 the Quiristers have attended The Pilgrims’ School. They are given bursaries which are funded by Winchester College, and means tested top up funding is available up to 100 per cent. At Pilgrims’ the Quiristers benefit from the best academic teaching and join in all the school’s sporting activities.

Performances

Winchester College Chapel Choir broadcasts, records and goes on tour, and in recent years they have sung in the USA, Italy, France, Holland, Russia and Germany. In the Quiristers’ own concerts they perform a fascinating mix of both sacred and secular repertoire. The Chapel Choir regularly sings in London, where performances have included the BBC Promenade Concerts and The London Handel Festival. They have also performed Bach’s St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music. They recently sang for a special 70th birthday concert for the composer John Rutter.

The frequently appear on BBC TV and Radio. Appearances have included the BBC Radio 3 ‘Choral Evensong’ programme and Classic FM. In 2015 a Quirister won the coveted BBC Young Chorister of the Year competition, and it is noteworthy that his was the fourth such success in recent years.

The Chapel Choir has regularly broadcast the Classic FM carol service and the Quiristers have recorded Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols for BBC Radio 4.

Recording

The Chapel Choir is proud of its association with Convivium Records. Their releases have included Stanford’s Choral Music and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. The also recorded Mozart’s Requiem with the London Mozart Players. The choir has also recorded a disc of plainsong for Warner Classics in association with film and TV composer David Perry.

For boys with musical gifts, our musical training offers a unique opportunity. All our boys learn two instruments, with practice timetabled and supervised. As a result, many win scholarships (academic and musical) to a range of secondary schools, including Winchester College. Many former Quiristers and Chapel Choir members have gone on to take up Oxbridge choral and organ scholarships and won places at our top musical conservatoires.

Malcolm Archer

Malcolm Archer is one of the world’s leading church musicians. He has enjoyed a distinguished career in cathedral music. Previous posts include Norwich, Bristol, Wells Cathedrals and most notably Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. He is now Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College, where he is responsible for the College’s ancient choral foundation; conducting the Chapel Choir and teaching the organ.

During his time at St. Paul’s Cathedral he directed the choir for several State services, including the Tsunami Memorial Service and the London Bombings Service. He also directed 80th Birthday Service for HM The Queen. Buckingham Palace invited him to compose a special anthem which he performed live on the BBC. His many broadcasts and recordings from Wells and St. Paul’s have received critical acclaim, and the Daily Telegraph voted his CD of Christmas music from St. Paul’s as Editor’s Choice. His choir at Winchester College has an enviable reputation through their many broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. They tour international touring and have produced a number of highly praised recordings.

Malcolm Archer is much in demand as a choir trainer and choral and orchestral conductor, and he has directed concerts, workshops, courses and summer schools in various parts of the globe, as well as working with several leading orchestras. He is also the Musical Director of the Jean Langlais Festival in France. As an organ recitalist he has played in nine European countries, the USA and Canada, and his CDs include repertoire as diverse as J.S. Bach and Olivier Messiaen, as well as his own music.

Composer

As a composer, Malcolm Archer receives regular commissions from both sides of the Atlantic, and he has many published works. Recently he has composed works for the Southern Cathedrals Festival, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy and an anthem for the enthronement service of the Bishop of Winchester. He has also jointly edited two books for Oxford University Press: Advent for Choirs and Epiphany to All Saints for Choirs. His compositions are widely performed and greatly enjoyed for their approachable nature and singability.

Competition

He has been an adjudicator for the BBC Young Chorister of the year competition, and has over the years had 12 of his own choristers in the final including two winners, the most recent in 2015. Malcolm was a judge for the BBC Songs of Praise School Choirs competition for four years, becoming a chair of the judging panel for two of those competitions. He is also a frequent contributor to that programme as both interviewee and musical arranger. He has recently been a judge for the British Composer Awards.

Malcolm Archer has served as council member of the Royal College of Organists, and he is a member of the council of the Guild of Church Musicians. They recently awarded him the Fellowship for his services to church music over many years. In 2009, he was awarded the FRSCM (Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music) for his work in three cathedrals, and as a composer of church music.

  • Benedictus in C - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Beati quorum via - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Watts' Cradle Song - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Te Deum in C - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Justorum animae - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • A Song of Wisdom - I came forth - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Oh! for a closer walk with God - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • When, in our music, God is glorified (tune: Engelberg) - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • For lo, I raise up - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Coelos ascendit hodie - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Come, ye thankful people, come - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • If ye then be risen with Christ - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • The Lord is my Shepherd - Charles Villiers Stanford
  • Psalm 150 - Charles Villiers Stanford
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Credits

Catalogue number: CR027

Choir Winchester College Chapel Choir
Organist Jamal Sutton
Conductor Malcolm Archer

Photography Various
Engineering Adaq Khan
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Andrew King
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 30 June, 1 July, 2014
Venue Merton College, Oxford
Total Duration 72 mins

Further information

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