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Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)

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Stanford & Finzi: Clarinet Concertos

Stanford & Finzi: Clarinet Concertos


Finzi:

Clarinet Concerto, Op. 31

Stanford:

Clarinet Concerto in A Minor, Op. 80


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Stanford: Music for violin and piano

Stanford: Music for violin and piano


Stanford:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 11

Caoine (A Lament), Op. 54 No. 1

Five Characteristic Pieces, Op. 93

Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 70


Paul Barritt (violin) & Catherine Edwards (piano)

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Stanford: Music for violin and piano

Stanford: Music for violin and piano


Stanford:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 11

Caoine (A Lament), Op. 54 No. 1

Five Characteristic Pieces, Op. 93

Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 70


Paul Barritt (violin) & Catherine Edwards (piano)

Growing up in his native Dublin in the 1850s and ‘60s, Stanford was no stranger to high-quality chamber music, even if the visits to Ireland’s capital by pre-eminent executants of the genre were sporadic. As a teenager he recalled with some affection and excitement the solo recitals of Anton Rubinstein, Sigismond Thalberg and Charles Hallé, and string players such as Camillo Sivori, Ludwig Straus, Henry Vieuxtemps, Alfredo Piatti and of course Joseph Joachim, a friend of his father. Hearing Joachim play Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata and unaccompanied Bach at semi-private concerts left a deep impression on Stanford (himself a budding violinist), as did Joachim’s appearances as the leader of Levey’s (his tutor’s) quartet. As a result of these formative experiences, Stanford became a devotee of chamber music.

The pieces performed here were all written between 1877 and 1905, giving a clear overview of the music Stanford wrote for violin and piano. They include the unpublished Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 70.

“Barritt and Edwards judge the idiom expertly, and it's hard to imagine this better done.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 ****

“An exemplary alliance. Not only is their playing consummately refined and joyously articulate, they bring plenty of panache and dedication to this immensely attractive repertoire. The engineering is vividly truthful and Jeremy Dibble’s booklet essay is a masterclass in itself. Recommended without reservation” Gramophone Magazine

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Stanford: Preludes

Stanford: Preludes


Stanford:

Preludes (24) in all the keys, Op. 163: excerpts

Preludes (24) in all the keys, Op. 179: excerpts


Sam Haywood (piano)

Stanford retained an enthusiasm for the music of Bach throughout his life, and the two sets of ‘Twenty-four Preludes in all the keys for pianoforte’ are a clear homage to JSB’s own ‘48’. Sam Haywood, making his second recording for Hyperion, performs his own selection.

Hyperion Records and Sam Haywood are exceedingly grateful to Lark Group Limited for their support of this recording.

“Haywood offers a living performance, coloured with the romantic aura that even clings to the preludes modelled after Baroque dance forms” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 ***

“[Haywood] does this repertoire absolutely proud; possessing a pleasingly rounded tone, sensitivity to dynamic nuance and flawless technical address, his is a decidedly superior brand of pianism” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“Haywood plays these intensely rewarding miniatures with just the right amount of swagger and flair.” The Observer, 28th May 2017

“I must express my personal fondness for Sam Haywood’s rich and gloriously full-blooded tone, with the depth of the piano, superbly captured in this recording. It adds real substance to music, which may be miniature in physical size but is gigantic in artistic stature.” MusicWeb International, July 2017

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Stanford: Sacred Choral Music 2

Stanford: Sacred Choral Music 2


Stanford:

Evening Service (Magnificat & Nunc dimittis) in G major, Op. 81

Stephen Farr (organ)

Bible Songs and Six Hymns Op. 113

David Hill , Christopher Monks (organ)

Morning Service in C Op. 115

Stephen Farr (organ)


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Stanford: Sacred Choral Music 3

Stanford: Sacred Choral Music 3


Stanford:

Evening Service in C major, Op. 115

Stephen Farr (organ)

Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem, Op. 123

Stephen Farr (organ)

Gloria in excelsis

from the Festal Communion Service in B flat, Op 128

Stephen Farr (organ)

St Patrick's Breastplate

Stephen Farr (organ)

Glorious and Powerful God, Op. 135 No. 3

Eternal Father, Op. 135 No. 2

For lo, I raise up, Op. 145

Stephen Farr (organ)

Magnificat in B flat for double choir, Op. 164

Lighten our darkness

(first recording)

Chrisopher Monks (organ)

How beauteous are their feet

Stephen Farr (organ)


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Stanford: Sacred Choral Music Volumes 1-3

Stanford: Sacred Choral Music Volumes 1-3


Stanford:

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in B flat, Op. 10

Stephen Farr (organ)

The Lord is my shepherd

Stephen Farr (organ)

Three Latin Motets, Op. 38

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in A, Op. 12

Stephen Farr (organ)

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Op. 37 No. 2

Christopher Monks (organ)

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F, Op. 36

Stephen Farr (organ)

And I saw another angel Op. 37 No. 1

Christopher Monks (organ)

Pater Noster

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in E flat, 1873

Christopher Monks (organ)

Jubilate & Te Deum in B flat, Op. 10

Stephen Farr (organ)

Evening Service (Magnificat & Nunc dimittis) in G major, Op. 81

Stephen Farr (organ)

Bible Songs and Six Hymns Op. 113

David Hill , Christopher Monks (organ)

Te Deum (from Service in C major, Op 115)

Stephen Farr (organ)

Benedictus (from Service in C major, Op 115)

Stephen Farr (organ)

Jubilate (from Service in C major, Op 115)

Stephen Farr (organ)

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in C, Op. 115

Stephen Farr (organ)

Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem, Op. 123

Stephen Farr (organ)

Gloria in excelsis

from the Festal Communion Service in B flat, Op. 128

Stephen Farr (organ)

St Patrick's Breastplate

Stephen Farr (organ)

Glorious and Powerful God, Op. 135 No. 3

Eternal Father, Op. 135 No. 2

For lo, I raise up, Op. 145

Stephen Farr (organ)

Magnificat in B flat for double choir, Op. 164

Lighten our darkness

Chrisopher Monks (organ)

How beauteous are their feet

Stephen Farr (organ)


Sir Charles Villiers Stanford is a central figure in Anglican church music. His many settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis are evensong for generations of choirboys and church-goers. This three-disc set contains a generous selection of Stanford’s sacred choral music—settings for Matins and Evensong, motets, anthems and hymns—perfectly performed by Winchester Cathedral Choir at its best, conducted by David Hill.

“Hill and the Winchester Choir are superb. The choral tone is luscious, the discipline outstanding, the recording captures the sumptuous acoustics of the cathedral without blurring the musical details, and the performances are vivid and exciting yet carefully nuanced” American Record Guide

“Superb performances, supremely fine singing, magnificently directed. A delight for Stanford lovers” Organists Review

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Stanford: Songs - 1

Stanford: Songs - 1


Stanford:

La Belle Dame sans merci (John Keats) (1877)

Eight Songs from 'The Spanish Gypsy' (George Eliot) Op. 1

Eight Heine songs from Op. 4 (1874; pub 1876) and Op. 7 (pub 1877)

Two songs from 'Fifty Songs of Old Ireland' (A P Graves) (1882; pub 1883)

Trottin' to the Fair (from 'Songs of Erin' Op. 76) (A P Graves) (1900)

The Tomb (Thomas Stanley) (c1886)

Heraclitus (Callimachus, trs William Cory) Op. 110 No. 4 (1910, arr 1918)

Six Songs from 'The Glens of Antrim' (Moira O'Neill) Op. 174 (1920)

Three songs from 'A Sheaf of Songs from Leinster' (W M Letts) Op. 140 (1913)


Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Clifford Benson (piano)

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Stanford: Songs - 2

Stanford: Songs - 2


Stanford:

Tragödie Op. 14 No. 5 (Heinrich Heine) (1881)

The Clown's Songs from 'Twelfth Night' Op. 65 (William Shakespeare) (1896)

The Pibroch Op. 157 No. 1, from Songs of a Roving Celt (Murdoch Maclean) (1918)

Phoebe Op. 125 No. 3 (Thomas Lodge) (1911)

Songs of the Sea, Op. 91

Sir Henry Newbolt

For ever mine (Harold Boulton) (1891)

Windy Nights Op. 30 No. 4 (Robert Louis Stevenson) (1885)

A Lullaby Op. 19 No. 2 (Thomas Dekker) (1882)

To the Rose Op. 19 No. 3 (Robert Herrick) (1882)

Songs of Faith Op. 97 (Walt Whitman) (1906)

The Fairy Lough Op. 77 No. 2, from An Irish Idyll in Six Miniatures (1901)

Tom Leminn ('Q' - Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch) (1893)

A Fire of Turf Op. 139 ( Winifred M Letts) (1913)


Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Clifford Benson (piano)

“Stanford's Songs of the Sea have kept the British baritone afloat for the best part of a century.
Drake's hammock and the barnacles of The Old Superb used to be familiar in parlours and drawing- rooms throughout the land. The cries of Captain Keats and his crew ('“Ship ahoy!” a hundred times a day'), the alliterative mysteries of 'Fetter and Faith … Faggot and Father' and the assurance that Drake even now was 'ware and waking' were assimilated almost as the words of folksongs, while the music seemed part of our flesh and blood. They are splendid songs, and the set of five constitutes a small masterpiece.
Sceptical readers should try them again in this new recording. Stephen Varcoe and Clifford Benson give a most sensitive performance, not emasculated but treating them thoughtfully.
The two quieter songs, 'Outward Bound' and 'Homeward Bound', become more central, better integrated, than usual, and the very fact that this is the solo version, without the male-voice chorus added later, makes it easier to hear them (the whole set) as a personal utterance. With 'Drake's Drum', for instance, Varcoe is very intent upon seeing sense, where others have often sought for little beyond a generalised patriotic earnestness. These, perhaps, are TheSongs of the Sea as Captain Edward Fairfax Vere might have sung them.
In reviewing the first volume, Michael Oliver wrote of the difficulty of reconciling the Irishman and the Brahmsian in Stanford: the melodic vein of the one seemed at odds with the harmonic language of the other. The occasions here when a dichotomy of style does cause trouble are found in the Songs of Faith. Whitman's auto-intoxication incites Stanford to indulge in grandiose gestures that aren't natural to him at all. He's much more at home with Shakespeare and Dekker, or, for that matter, with Quiller-Couch and Winifred M Letts, whose A Fire of Turf provides him with poems for some masterly settings. All are beautifully performed by these excellent artists.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Stanford: String Quartets Nos 1 & 2

Stanford: String Quartets Nos 1 & 2


Stanford:

String Quartet No. 1 in G major, Op. 44

String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 45

Fantasy for Horn Quintet

with Stephen Stirling (horn)


Think of Stanford and the genre of the string quartet probably won’t come to mind. But he composed no fewer than eight such works over a twenty-eight year period, inspired by his friendship with the great violinist Joseph Joachim. Stanford had already composed a number of large-scale chamber works before he began his first string quartet in the summer of 1891, when he was thirty-nine; the second string quartet followed immediately during a burst of dazzling creativity. Both quartets are serious, big-boned works that show Stanford’s mastery of the idiom and ability as a contrapuntist, although they generally display textures that are lighter and more transparent than the thicker palette of Brahms (with whom Stanford is sometimes compared). These delightful works also reveal Stanford’s love of song and lyricism. Throughout, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet plays with a rare sensitivity and a natural eloquence.

The Horn Fantasy—a later work, dating from 1922—is dramatic, compelling and flawlessly written for the genre (a rare combination of instruments and quite possibly composed as a tribute to Mozart, whom Stanford greatly admired), and it is superbly played by Stephen Stirling.

All works are here recorded for the first time.

“These beautifully crafted and attractive string quartets, clearly indebted to Brahms and Mendelssohn, receive highly committed performances. The Fantasy for Horn and String Quartet, one of Stanford’s last compositions, proves to be an unexpected bonus” BBC Music Magazine

“This is fine music, beautifully played” Sunday Times

“These exemplary first recordings make the best possible case for all this rare material; sound and balance are first-class, too. A strongly recommendable issue, in sum, extensively annotated by Jeremy Dibble. Can we expect further instalments?” Gramophone Magazine

“Jeremy Dibble’s notes are excellent, as is the recording. On balance, this is a very worth-while issue of first-rate British chamber music which does not deserve the neglect which has befallen it” International Record Review

“The string quartet writing here reveals the composer at his most fecund and imaginative. The highly adept RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, which hails from Stanford’s native Dublin, brings a terrific energy to these appetising works” The Strad

“These two quartets are alive with melodic invention and supremely crafted … Stephen Stirling is a sweet-toned soloist alongside the consistently stylish playing of this fine Irish quartet” Classic FM Magazine

“‘The playing on this new Hyperion release is flawless, and their tonal palette perfect for Stanford’s music. Stephen Stirling’s horn in the Fantasy is warm and glowing. This is very highly recommended, and with a plea to the Vanbrugh and Hyperion for Stanford’s remaining six quartets” Fanfare

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