Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

John Stanley

Lucie Skeaping profiles 18th-century organist, violinist and composer John Stanley, blind from the age of two, but who succeeded in the music world thanks to his memory.

Lucie Skeaping explores the life and music of John Stanley who, despite a tragic accident that left him blind at the age of two, became very successful in the 18th-century music world, partly thanks to his remarkable memory. As a composer he wrote numerous concertos, sonatas, cantatas and anthems; as a player of both the violin and the organ he attracted listeners from far and wide - and he directed several Handel cantatas and the Messiah from memory.

1 hour

Music Played

  • John Stanley

    Organ Voluntary in A minor, Op 7 No 8

    Performer: Richard Marlow (organ)

    • CHANDOS CHAN 0639.
  • John Stanley

    Organ Concerto No 2 in D

    Performer: Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, Gerald Gifford (organ/director)

    • CRD CRD 3365.
  • John Stanley

    Concerto for strings, Op 2 No 4

    Performer: Collegium Musicum 90, Simon Standage (conductor)

    • CHANDOS CHAN 0638.
  • Maurice Greene

    Anthem: Lord Let Me Know Mine End

    Performer: Choir of New College, Oxford, Edward Higginbottom (conductor)

    • CRD CRD 3484.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Streams of Pleasure (duet from Theodora)

    Performer: Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Nicholas Kraemer (conductor)

    • BIS BISSACD1436.
  • George Frideric Handel

    All we like sheep have gone astray (chorus from Messiah)

    Performer: Academy and Chorus of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner (conductor)

    • Philips 454 4132.
  • John Stanley

    Cantata: The choice of Hercules (overture and march)

    Performer: English String Orchestra, William Boughton (conductor)

    • NIMBUS NI 5155.
  • John Stanley

    Arcadia/Shepherd's Wedding (excerpt)

    Performer: Andrew Knight (baritone), The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman (director)

    • BBC recording.