What tempo Stanford in C?

We are singing Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in C at our next Evensong, 5pm Saturday 9 July.

Here’s an interesting recording of Barry Rose conducting the Choir of Magdalen College Oxford in the 1970s. If you’ve ever thought you’d heard a rendition that was a little on the slow side, have a listen! And then read the comment from the owner of the YouTube channel:

‘Stanford held his Service in C in the highest esteem, expressing the view that it was his finest. His views on the speed of the Magnificat were also quite definite. Bernard Rose remembers Sir Walter Alcock, a friend of the composer, telling him of Stanford’s puzzlement at the speed at which most organists took the Magnificat. In Alcock and Rose’s view, this is how Stanford wished the Magnificat to be sung’ (Archive of Recorded Church Music, 2020).

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