A periodical series of reflections on recorded and unrecorded works by Charles Villiers Stanford
by Christopher Howell
20. Six Bible Songs with Hymns op.113
If I have counted aright, Stanford’s Six Bible Songs have been recorded complete seven times. Four recordings include the Hymns that Stanford provided as an optional conclusion to each song. In addition, some recent live performances, with or without the Hymns, have appeared on YouTube. A few single pieces by Stanford have now accrued a discography so large as to be almost untraceable in its entirety, and the Clarinet Concerto and Sonata have a goodly presence. The Bible Songs, though, must currently be the most frequently recorded of Stanford’s works on a larger scale – a complete performance with hymns takes well over forty minutes, while just the songs last nearly thirty. The earliest recording, issued in 1977, was the first time, unless I have missed something, that an entire LP was dedicated to Stanford. Supplementing these complete performances, single songs, with or without hymns, and single hymns, have been issued on a number of occasions.