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Tjeerd van der Ploeg
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)

Bart Verheyen
A Child of Books —
een nieuw werk voor orgel en kinderen

Pieter Vanhaecke en Johan Zoutendijk
De restauratie van het Clerinx-orgel (1861)
in de Sint-Odulphuskerk te Borgloon

Edward Vanmarsenille
Enkele impressies bij de restauratie

Louis Ide
Het Petrus-Joannes Vereecken-orgel (1869) te Dikkele (Zwalm)

Ontwikkelingen in het orgelrestauratiebeleid — deel 2: Brussel

Ignace Michiels
In memoriam Roger Deruwe (1925-2024)

Stijn Hanssens
In memoriam Kristiaan Van Ingelgem (1944-2024)

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Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)

The Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) died exactly one hundred years ago. After many years of neglect, the life and works of this prominent Irishman have recently experienced a significant revival. 

          Born in Dublin in 1852, he received from the beginning a good education, including piano lessons from his mother. An important influence was the cathedral organist Robert Prescott Stewart, who introduced him to the organ and to Anglican church music. In the Dublin Theatre Royal and the Queen’s Royal Theatre he became familiar with an extensive operatic repertoire. Via Joseph Robinson, Stanford discovered the works of Bach and Beethoven, and also Irish folk tunes. 

              From 1870 he continued his studies as conductor and organist in Cambridge. These led to various appointments. At the same time Stanford went to Germany to study composition with Carl Reineke in Leipzig. These lessons were unproductive, and the young student transferred to Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. His studies were now satisfactory with, as models Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann. 

              The Royal College of Music (RCM) was established in London in 1883 and Stanford was one of the founding professors. He taught composition for the rest of his life, which over the years was to give him special status. His teaching was very conservative and many of his students had bad memories of his somewhat unpolished teaching-methods. Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells maintained a respectful relationship with their former mentor, although their compositions were stylistically very different. His contacts with his colleagues Charles Hubert Hastings Parry and Edward Elgar were often problematic. 

              Stanford was to compose in rapid succession five organ sonatas, in a conservative style with insipid development. Some of his other organ works are more inspired. His treatment of the organ appears to have been influenced by John Stainer’s The Organ. 

His last years were difficult, with the realization that his compositions were outdated. Later this year, from 11th to 13th October, a Stanford Festival will be held in Dublin, his birthplace.