Lived:1852 – 1924
Mostly in: Dublin, Cambridge, London
Best Known For: Anthems and services, Songs of the Sea, symphonies, The Bluebird
Similar To: Parry, Brahms, Elgar
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
Is complete oblivion the saddest fate that can overtake a composer? Surely not. A worse fate than being wholly neglected is being half-remembered. There they dwell, those musical masters condemned to what appears an eternal destiny of textbook semi-fame, all dutifully noted in passing by assiduous historians (who usually cannot wait to reach other, more glamorous subjects); recognised, if lucky, for having written one or two popular favourites; nowhere altogether forgotten, and yet seldom honoured. Jean-Baptiste Lully, Luigi Cherubini, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Louis Spohr, Daniel Auber, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Adolphe Adam, Léo Delibes, Charles-Marie Widor, Vincent d’Indy, Joseph Rheinberger, Engelbert Humperdinck, Hubert Parry… and Charles Villiers Stanford (Sir Charles from 1902), originally from Dublin but eventually a cynosure of London’s musical establishment.
Nowadays, one area of Stanford’s creativity,...