Shirley Ratcliffe
Choir & Organ
August 2017

This survey of Stanford’s music shows the growth of a composer from his early days as organist at Trinity College, Cambridge, to becoming a securely established composer. Recorded in Hereford Cathedral, the music is given added drama by the building’s resonance, especially For lo, I raise up, St Patrick’s Breastplate and the Te Deum in C with brass and organ. The unaccompanied Magnificat for 8-part chorus in B flat, with its Bachian overtones and intricate counterpoint is particularly testing for young voices, but the Choir of Trinity College under its director Stephen Layton gives a remarkable performance. Organist Owain Park is completely at one with Hereford’s wonderful Willis organ and his playing of the Fantasia & Toccata in D minor is exciting and sensitive. This CD is a fine tribute to Stanford.