Listen to samples of Stanley's music


Please note that these samples are much-mauled, having in some cases originated in an off-air recording on to cassette or open-reel tape, been stored (and played!) for a long time, possibly re-recorded on to CD, converted to .WAV and finally MP3 format! (The last stage, to reduce the filesize both for storage within the limits of the file hosts/packages used and for more speedy download, unfortunately also degrades the quality.) Hopefully, you will at least be able to get a flavour of the music!

If you happen to visit this page, do please let me know if you find anything doesn't work with your setup. I have tested the page on Windows- and Android- based systems using various browsers, but haven't had any success with Apple's iOS. (You can e-mail me at the address on the Publishers page). I intend to put further samples on this page from time to time.

Except where otherwise noted, all the following samples are sung by Peterborough Cathedral Choir under Stanley's direction. Where known, the year of the original recording is given in brackets. Click on the sample you wish to hear. An mp3 player should open for you: you can then return to this page if you wish by clicking your browser's "Back" button

Stanley's Chants.

"There is a special beauty and cohesion between psalm and Vann chant which can greatly enhance psalm singing." (Gary Sieling writing in the RSCM's Church Music Quarterly)

"A small number (of Stanley's chants) have an austere, spiky quality, whereas the majority have an essential warmth and an unerring feel for form and melody, with some exhibiting a profundity that almost defies description" (Simon Mold, writing in "Cathedral Music")

"In every talk I give about choir training, the psalm singing excerpt always comes from Stanley’s choir at Peterborough: there was, and is, nothing finer." (Dr. Barry Rose, O.B.E. in "Once a Chorister")

"His evocative psalm chants are widely admired.." (Barry Ferguson, Director of Music at Rochester Cathedral 1977-1994)

"I have been totally in love with Stanley's chants since the age of 12" (a cathedral lay-clerk - not at Peterborough!)

Psalm 8 (1975)

Psalm 13 (1966?): two of Stanley's chants

Psalm 18 (1966?) vv7-19

Psalm 22, from v22 (1972). The first part of this psalm was sung to a chant by J. Battishill

Psalm 24 (1969)

Psalm 51, vv1-6 (1969) This chant was normally used for Ps 142

Psalm 69, vv30-end (1964)

Psalm 73, vv1-21 (1973)

Psalm 78, vv18-21

Psalm 85 (year unknown)

Psalm 99 This chant was normally used for Ps 32

Psalm 104 Three of Stanley's chants, sung by the choir of Wakefield Cathedral, dir. Thomas Moore. External link to Spotify. NEW (May 2016)

Psalm 109 (1969) This chant was used for first 4 verses only

Psalms 114,115 (1958) both Stanley's chants

Psalm 137 (1961)

Psalm 147 (1959) (Strange effect at very start- trebles sound to be singing 3rd of chord rather than the 5th!)

Psalms 148-9 (1977) poor recording: includes Gloria of Ps 147-same Vann chant as previous sample, but different key- and start of Ps 150, Stanford chant.


Adam lay ybounden (1977).

Bethlehem lay sleeping (1976). This is an arrangement of an old Polish carol

Come, listen to my story (1969). This is an arrangement of a sixteenth century English melody

Eastern Monarchs (1969). An Epiphany carol, composed in 1967.

I saw a maiden (1976).

Jesu, Thou art welcome (1976).

People, look East (1969). This Advent carol is an arrangement of a Besançon melody.

Sing lullaby (1976).

Sweet was the song (1976).

There is no rose (1977). For three treble voices, this is a setting of anonymous 15th century words.


Vann Responses, 1st Set (1964)

Vann Responses, 2nd Set

Vann Responses, 3rd Set (1973)

Vann Responses, 4th Set (1975)


E minor Service (1959?) Magnificat Nunc Dimitis

Peterborough Service in C maj (1972?) Magnificat Nunc Dimitis

Missa Brevis in E minor (Petriburgiensis I) This was written for a performance of "The Record of John", Good Friday 1964

Missa Brevis Petriburgiensis II (1974)

Anthems and motets

Ave Maria (2010^). Composed in 1988 and dedicated to his wife, Frances.

Behold, how good and joyful (1959). Originally written for the enthronement of the 4th Bishop of Chelmsford in 1951, this setting of Psalm 133 was used in the National Service of Remembrance in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, after the Iraq war in 2003

Come, Holy Ghost (1977)

From heaven's height (2010^)

Hearken to the whispering angels (2010^)

King of Glory (1977)

God, whose eternal mind (1977)

Blest be the God of love (1977)

While Christ lay dead a recording, found on the Web, by St. John's Cathedral, Jacksonville Florida (external link)


* These pieces feature on the CD "Hearken to the Whispering Angels", under Stanley's direction - see Recordings page.

^ These pieces feature on the CD "Hearken to the Whispering Angels", directed by Andrew Reid - see Recordings page.

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