£16 post free World-wide


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

What's New
Previous CDs
Labels index

Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    

C.V. STANFORD Trottin’ to the Fair and other songs    James Griffett (tenor), Clifford Benson (piano) Campion Records Cameo 2001 (13 Bank Square, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 1AN)


Amazon UK

Stanford, like Parry, is best known as the teacher of some of the most important British composers of the early part of this century. It is only comparatively recently that much of his music - such as the Piano Concertos - has become known, and deservedly familiar. Most, if asked, would be able to name one or two of his songs - The Old Superb and Drake’s Drum? The Fairy Lough (with its unforgettably evocative cry ‘Loughareema’) or perhaps A soft Day? This excellent disc, with the persuasive advocacy of the light tenor James Griffett and the enthusiastic accompaniment of Clifford Benson, has been resurrected from earlier LPs (Hyperion) and provides a unique selection of Stanford’s lighter ballad-type songs that is immediately approachable. The lineage of these delightful pieces (a goodly proportion of which are arrangements of folk tunes) could be traced back to the melodies of the 18th century - totally un-fussy, workrnanlike settings showing Stanford as no stuffy academic. There is great variety - from the unashamed sentiment of the Londonderry Air to the bubbling exhortations of The Bold Unbiddable Child and the drama of the Witch’s Charms. Only an Irishman could relish as here the whimsy of The Poison on the Darts. The collaboration between Stanford, and Archibald Percival Graves (the father of the author of ‘I Claudius’) was a very fruitful one - their attention to practical detail evident in the substituting of the word ‘arbutus’ for the singer’s problem word ‘beautiful’ in the second verse of My Love’s an Arbutus. In his early study of the composer Plunket Greene, himself a renowned interpreter of these songs says ‘I say unreserv-edly. that in his knowledge of the handling of the voice he stands higher than any writer since Schubert’ Listen then to Drop me a Flower. A disc to sit back and listen to: no effort is needed. The music does it all.


Colin Scott-Sutherland


Colin Scott-Sutherland

Return to Index