Sir Charles Villiers Stanford: Anthems & Motets

The hymns in English Anthems are intended to exalt the religious prose, either the Bible or the liturgy. The word refers to the intonation and is one of the favourite genres of English music. Despite not being involved professionally with the Anglican Church, Charles Villiers Stanford (1852- 1924), as Vaughan Williams, published collections Anthems of a remarkable lyrical impulse. There is a whole generation of English composers who trained in the field of composition with Vaughan Williams, among which include Gustav Holst. The Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford, endowed with a great lyrical talent was organist at Trinity College and later was appointed professor of composition at the Royal College of Music. It cultivated different genres; is the author of symphonies, operas, oratorios and choral works with numerous verses stirring. The fame, however, came with the compositions of sacred music.

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In this recording we hear the three Motets, op.38 dating back to 1905, although they were composed before. Struck by the rigor of the formal structure of motets, but the most compelling is her thoughtful and meditative melodic. There are, indeed, some reminiscent of Bruckner motets. Edward Higginbottom impeccable direction of organist and director of New College Oxford Choir, highlights the expertise of Stanford. The voices of the choir reveal a sumptuous sonority; offer a serious and enthusiastic that comes in excellent conditions. An excellent opportunity to enjoy good music of a composer worth knowing.

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