Stanley's recordings & recordings of his music.


Tudor Church Music cover picture

Tudor Church Music

Priory Records, PRCD938

The Choir of Peterborough Cathedral, directed by Stanley, with Richard Latham, Organist.


RSCM Review:

"If you were choosing just two composers for a disc headed ‘Tudor Church Music’ you would perhaps choose Byrd and Tallis, and probably not Batten and Dering as found on this disc. But the contrast between the music of Adrian Batten (Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral) and the continental influences on Richard Dering (study in Italy and employment in Brussels before returning to England) is fascinating. However it is not so much for the choice of repertoire as for the performances that this CD is so special, for it is a remastered version of an Argo 1962 recording of what was widely regarded at the time as the best cathedral choir in the UK. Stanley Vann was master of the music of Peterborough Cathedral from 1953 until his retirement in 1977. This disc is a splendid testament to the results of his choir training (and the choir sounds remarkably fresh and modern) along with some excellent solo voices and organ accompaniment by Richard Latham. There is also much to enjoy in the expressive and unexpected modulations in Dering’s music such as Factum est silentium and Contristatus est rex David."

Track Listing and duration:

1. O sing joyfully 1.43

2. The Fourth Evening Service 6.28

3. O Lord, thou hast searched me out 5.39

4. Hear my prayer 3.40

5. Out of the deep 4.41

6. O clap your hands together 2.32

7. Gaudent in coelis 1.50

8. Contristatus est rex David 3.01

9. O bone Jesu 3.05

10. Ave verum corpus 3.37

11. Duo seraphin 2.38

12. Factum est silentium 3.07



Hearken to the Whispering Angels

Hearken to the Whispering Angels: The Music of Stanley Vann

World of Sound, WOS021

Peterborough Cathedral Choir, directed by Stanley, with 2010 recordings directed by Andrew Reid

with Organists Barry Ferguson, Andrew Newberry and Francesca Massey


The following is taken from the publicity material for the CD:

Stanley Vann, Master of Music at Peterborough from 1953-1977, celebrates his 100th birthday on Monday 15 February 2010. To mark this milestone, and to remember his considerable contribution both to music in Peterborough and to church music nationally, a new CD has been launched. 'Harken to the whispering angels' features Peterborough Cathedral Choir under Stanley’s direction singing his own music in 16 tracks from recordings made in 1965, 1969, 1974 and 1977, and concludes with the current Cathedral Choir singing music Stanley composed in retirement at Wansford near Peterborough.

The disc includes works representing over 70 years of compositional activity. Of particular interest are three Psalms sung to Anglican chant and an introit which were recorded in 1977 but which have not been publicly available before. Also featured are a number of carols, familiar anthems such as 'Behold, how good and joyful' and 'Blest be the God of love', his Evening Canticles in C, and a number of later works including a Missa brevis.

Stanley's work with the Choir at Peterborough was "matchless" according to John Betjeman's commentary which originally accompanied the 1965 recording when it was broadcast on the radio. To this day Barry Rose feels that the highest standards of musicianship, vocal skill and artistry were hallmarks of Stanley's work at Peterborough, and that the singing of the Psalms set a benchmark for all cathedral musicians. BBC Radio 3's Choral Evensong recently featured a service from 1972 among its choice of archive recordings. In 1971 Stanley was awarded a Lambeth DMus "for long and eminent services to church music". This CD traces that career in compositions from 1929 to 2000, but above all in the recorded legacy of the Choir's singing during Stanley's last 12 years at Peterborough.

Total duration: 66'20''


Harken to the whispering angels is available online at: (online store) priced £12.50 plus postage and packing. It is also available at the Cathedral Shop, together with other recordings of the Cathedral Choir.

Track Listing and duration:

1. O sing joyfully 1.43

2. The Fourth Evening Service 6.28

3. O Lord, thou hast searched me out 5.39

4. Hear my prayer 3.40

5. Out of the deep 4.41

6. O clap your hands together 2.32

7. Gaudent in coelis 1.50

8. Contristatus est rex David 3.01

9. O bone Jesu 3.05

10. Ave verum corpus 3.37

11. Duo seraphin 2.38

12. Factum est silentium 3.07


Major Organ Works cover picture

Major Organ Works of Stanley Vann and the Kenneth Leighton Memorial Album

played by Gary Sieling on the organs of Chelmsford Cathedral.

Priory PRCD 827. Possibly also still available direct from Gary Sieling.

"This invaluable CD contains first recordings of short organ pieces by nine British composers, including Stanley Vann and Gary Sieling.... together with the major organ works of Stanley Vann, who is so far much under-represented in the catalogues...... exemplary performances.... " Classical Archives


Saraband for a Wake



A Fancy for Tuba





Versets on a Choral Melody

Pavan on the death of the Saviour

Versets on the Plainsong "Jesu dulcedo cordium"


Crucifixion cover picture

The Crucifixion John Stainer. Peterborough Cathedral Choir directed by Stanley Vann, with James Griffett (tenor); Michael George (bass); Andrew Newberry (organ). Resonance- RSN3030

"big, resonant, full-bodied sound " ..."We can hear everything clearly; the soloists are good" ..."the chorus is solid in the big numbers and very heartfelt in the hymns" (David Vernier, Classics Today) rated 8/8

"A 1978/1994 recording (with organ) by Stanley Vann and the Choir of Peterborough Cathedral... convinced me that Long is perhaps too harsh [in his criticism of Stainer's Crucifixion]...... and I found that my appreciation for The Crucifixion has been growing." Victor Hill in the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians - June 2003

Samples of the recording can be heard here (Disc 6) , or here


Music for Peterborough sleeveMusic for Peterborough by Stanley Vann

(Trygg TR6 77003, 1977) A few copies of this LP are available from Anglo-American Music Publishers (AA): see Publishers page for contact details.

"The unique character of this record lies in the fact that almost all the music on it was composed solely for performance in Peterborough Cathedral and, being mostly in manuscript, has only been heard there."

(During his time at Peterborough, Stanley preferred to keep a distinct feel to the cathedral's music - hence this music, and his collection of chants, was not published until after his retirement.)


Stanley's pieces featured on other CDs:

I call on thee: on cd Britten Missa Brevis & other works for treble voices: Lammas LAMM171

"This disc contains other treasures, many by Malcom Archer... Philip Moore (York), Stanley Vann, Leonard Blake, and Noel Rawsthorne. "- Victor Hill, PhD in The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians - March 2005 

Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is: on cd The English Anthem, Vol 3 St Paul's Cathedral Choir/John Scott Hyperion CDA67483

"Stanley Vann’s Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is is written with the benefit of an expert choir-trainer’s ear for choral sonorities" (John Steane in web review on The Gramophone)

Hail true body: on cd Godspeed, St Edmundsbury Cathedral Choir

Director: James Thomas. Organ: Michael Bawtree. Lammas LAMM135

Virgin-born, we bow before thee on cd Christmas Joy, Vol. 3: (also works by Bach, Britten, Poston, Cornelius, Hadley, & others) Edward Wellman (organ), Choir of Chester Cathedral, David Poulter. Priory- 651(CD)

The Peterborough Service (in A) : on cd Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis:Vol 18: The Choir of Peterborough Cathedral, Christopher Gower (director), Mark Duthie (organ) Priory PRCD 632

The Chichester Service, on cd Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis:Vol 2: Chichester Cathedral Choir. Priory PRCD 511

The Chester Service on cd Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis:Vol 8: The Choir of Llandaff Cathedral/ Michael Smith. Priory PRCD 551

Hereford Service on cd Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis:Vol 7: The Choir of Hereford Cathedral/ Roy Massey. Priory PRCD-535

Sweet was the song on cds:

Christmas Joy Vol 1: The Choir of York Minster/ Philip Moore. Priory PRCD 603

A Feast of Christmas Carols CD4: The Choir of York Minster. Priory PRCD 4000


Eastern Monarchs and

Jesu thou art welcome

on cd Sing High, Sing Low –Twentieth century music: The Gentlemen and Boys of Rochester Cathedral Choir/ Roger Sayer. Priory PRCD 584

Rochester Service
on cd Te Deum and Jubilate CD 1: The Choir of Rochester Cathedral Directed by Barry Ferguson, Organ: Roger Sayer

Priory PRCD 934

Praise to God, immortal praise on cd "Festival of Anthems", Chichester Cathedral choir. Kevin Mayhew 149001). "...the best anthems of leading church music composers of recent times... a comprehensive cross section of wonderful contemporary choral music." (K.M. web site)

cd "Psalms from St. Paul’s – Volume 9" features one of Stanley's chants (Psalm 113) Hyperion CDP 11009



Other recordings - I believe these are no longer available: please contact me if you know otherwise, or if you can supply information on any other recording!



Christmas by Candlelight, (PCA Records PCA7401S)




Adrian Batten and Richard Dering: Tudor Church Music, (Argo RG 318 , 1962 / ZRG 5318, 1965)



Britain‘s Cathedrals & their Music (also Liverpool Cathedral; REB 33M, 1969)



Music for the Church‘s Year (LPB 658, 1969)

Peterborough Cathedral Choir, dir Stanley Vann:




Other Recordings featuring Stanley's music:


Durham Cathedral Choir, dir Richard Lloyd; (York Ambisonic HAC 832)

St. Paul’s Cathedral, (Melbourne, Australia), dir June Nixon: "Two Great Occasions – Choir Centenary – 4th September 1988", SPC 988

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