Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (30 September 1852 – 29 March 1924) was an Irish composer, teacher and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. While still an undergraduate, Stanford was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, aged 29, he was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. From 1887 he was also the professor of music at Cambridge. As a teacher, Stanford was sceptical about modernism, and based his instruction chiefly on classical principles as exemplified in the music of Brahms. Among his pupils were rising composers whose fame went on to surpass his own, such as Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Stanford composed a substantial number of concert works, including seven symphonies, but his best-remembered pieces are his choral works for church performance, chiefly composed in the Anglican tradition. Some critics regarded Stanford, together with Hubert Parry and Alexander Mackenzie, as responsible for a renaissance in English music.
The "Six Short Preludes and Postludes, 1st Set" were published by Stainer & Bell in 1907. The title is deceiving, as these are brief, but fully mature and often challenging pieces. The two pieces that I've uploaded are both "founded on an old Irish church melody." This one, Set 1, No. 5, is founded upon the tune "Grafton". In the US, this tune is used as the "2nd or central melody" in the Trinity hymn, "St. Patrick's Breastplate."
I've played this exactly as I believe Stanford would have wanted it, starting with the Great uncoupled, and not "using" the Swell pedal until more than halfway through. The music feels completely natural when done this way.
I dedicate these sperformances to Ubertuba, who requested them. I hope you like them, Chris!
The score & photo of Stanford are attached.