Charles John Stanley (17 January 1712 – 19 May 1786) was an English composer and organist.
He began studying music at the age of seven. Under the guidance of Maurice Greene, composer and organist at St. Paul's Cathedral, he studied "with great diligence, and a success that was astonishing" (Burney).
When he was fourteen "in preference to a great number of candidates" (Burney) he was chosen as organist at St Andrew's, Holborn, and at the age of seventeen became the youngest person ever to obtain the Bachelor of Music degree (B.Mus.) at Oxford University.
In 1734 he was appointed organist to the Society of the Inner Temple - a position which he held until his death in 1786. It was at the ancient Temple Church that his brilliant playing upon the organ and harpsichord attracted the attention of many fine musicians including George Frideric Handel, who regularly visited the church to hear him.
Stanley's works include the opera Teraminta, the dramatic cantata The Choice of Hercules, twelve other cantatas with texts by John Hawkins, the oratorios Jephtha, The Fall of Egypt and Zimri, and instrumental music, notably three volumes of voluntaries for organ (1748, 1752, and 1754).
This piece is the first from Volume 1.