The first piece on the cd is the setting of 5 poems by Henry Newbold, the "Songs of the Fleet". This performance alone is worth the price of the disk. Gerald Finley is a stunning soloist, a beautifully produced voice, even throughout the range, and right for this quintessentially-British music. The chorus and orchestra are excellent and the recording is rich, clear and full - ideal qualities for music of this type. The level on the stereo layer is on the low side, but, with the volume turned up, it sounds beautiful and powerful.
This setting is a masterpiece, only those allergic to British music will not be deeply moved by it. The "Revenge" setting is well performed, in spite of the odd moment of strain among some of the chorus. "The Songs of the Sea" are the equal of any other recording, with Finley, again, a wonderful soloist.
That Stanford is a seriously under-rated composer is well- known among those who love his music. This cd should do lots to put this situation right, it should sell in large numbers and deserves to do so.
Sit down, turn up the wick, look at the words and bathe in a glorious musical experience, then tell your friends to go out and buy this cd, that they may do the same.