Charles Villiers Stanford: Choral Music


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


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. Read more

Malcolm Archer

Malcolm Archer has had a distinguished career in church music. He held the post of Organist and Director of Music at Bristol, Wells and St Paul’s Cathedral. He was subsequently Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College for eleven years.

Malcolm studied as an RCO scholar at the Royal College of Music and was Organ Scholar at Jesus College Cambridge. His organ teachers were Ralph Downes, Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston.

As an organist and harpsichordist he is in frequent demand. He has given solo concerts all over the world, including the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. His performances with orchestra have included Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and the Bach keyboard concertos. Malcolm has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in a classic rock concert in the Royal Albert Hall. Moreover, he has an extensive concert repertoire and has recorded a wide variety of works including J.S. Bach organ works and Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur. Read more

CD Booklet
  • 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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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

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