In the summer of 1874 Stanford departed for Leipzig where, as a private student, he took piano lessons with Papperitz and composition with Reinecke. His first sojourn in Germany was productive, in spite of his complaint that Reinecke was an uninspiring teacher. He completed The Resurrection
for tenor, chorus, organ and orchestra), a set of Heine songs, some piano music, a Commemoration Anthem In memoria aeterna
(SSAATTBB and organ), presumably for use at Trinity, and a setting of the Pater noster
dated ‘August 28/74’. It is plausible that the Pater noster
, an unpublished work, was written as an exercise in vocal composition for eight parts. The surviving manuscript bears several corrections, probably by Reinecke; it is recorded here for the first time in an edition prepared by Jeremy Dibble. The manner of writing suggests the model of Mendelssohn’s a cappella motets which would have received Reinecke’s wholehearted approval. The quality of Stanford’s invention, however, transcends any pedagogical cliché. The climax of ‘sed libera’, where the full choir shifts from a root triad of C major to a second inversion of E flat, is a moment of true inspiration worthy of Bruckner, as is the return of the opening line text (‘Pater noster’) prior to the uplifting ‘Amen’.
from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 1997