Few British composers wrote as much music or taught as many other British composers as did Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924). This CD devoted to him in the "British Music Collection" series includes some of his vocal music. Of course "The Blue Bird" is here, beautifully sung by the College of New Choir, Oxford in 2000, but so cold and sour is the acoustic of that college's chapel that few of the words of Mary Coleridge's charming poem can be distinguished. Thomas Allen is the baritone in the setting with chorus and orchestra of the "Songs of the Sea". Rarely have I heard the "Songs of the Sea" sung with such clear enunciation and sense of authority. Several extracts from Stanford's five church services are included, some recorded in the vast expanse of Winchester Cathedral, others in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. Finally, you will hear two beautiful Stanford songs saved from one of the last broadcasts given by Kathleen Ferrier. You'll easily hear every word she sings, and each will go right to your heart.