From the charming whimsy of Fairy Day to the dignified ceremonial of Verdun, this is a welcome and varied collection of some of Stanford?s finest occasional pieces.
The variety of moods in these miscellanea, lovingly performed by the Ulster Orchestra and Howard Shelley in congenial sound, is one of its most attractive features…And the most winning work? Definitely Fairy Day, with fey, dated poetry transformed into fine art…, sweetly sung by sopranos and altos from the choir Codetta, and the most luminously delicate instrumental textures. BBC ****
It would be hard to over-praise the performances by the Ulster Orchestra, who obviously have both a natural feeling for and pride in their countryman’s work. Howard Shelley’s interpretations are models of their kind: Bluff, vigorous, and sensitive by turns, they are also keenly alert to the complex inner voicing as well as the ornamental detail. The warm yet superbly transparent recorded sound, and Jeremy Dibble’s entertaining and authoritative notes, make an indispensable collection all the more so. Fanfare
[Fairy Day] is fashioned with breathtaking skill and beauty, the vocal writing garbed with exquisite delicacy by a chamber orchestra…These splendidly prepared and finely engineered performances under Howard Shelley’s clear-headed direction do full justice to some appealing, off-the-beaten-track repertoire, and the disc as a whole is well worth seeking out. Gramophone
A resoundingly confident contribution to the Stanford revival…excellent performances of long-neglected but worthwhile music by Stanford. MusicWeb