STANFORD: Sacred Choral Music (Volume I)
Winchester Cathedral Choir/Stephen Farr and Christopher Monks, organists/David Hill, cond.
Hyperion CDA 66964 (F) (DDD) TT: 77:01

The name Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) is known primarily by the army of Angelican choir directors throughout the world along with their individual congregations, but by few others. Listening to this recent CD of motets and liturgial music composed during the composer's Cambridge period (1870-1892), one is impressed by the Victorian grandness of his music mirroring the sounds and dimensions of such 19th Century masters as Mendelssohn and Brahms. Eight-part writing adds both richness and strength to the texts. His style ranges from a capella 15th Century-like modality to multi-choir works for large or small orchestral accompaniment. The superb Winchester Cathedral Choir brings out the clarity of line in three Latin motets (Stanford's most performed choral works) as well as the necessary power and praise in the laudative B-flat Te Deum.

A highly recommended addition to anyone's choral library.

K.S. (Sept. 1999)