John Quinn quotes the statement by John France (reviewing volume 1) that the first organ work in Stanford's catalogue was the Fantasia and Toccata op.57 of 1894. John France's statement is correct as long as "catalogue" is taken to mean "catalogue of opus numbers". As John Quinn points out, volume 2 has the "Jesu Dulcis" Prelude from 1879, which remained unpublished till Richard Barnes's edition. There is also a fine prelude and Fugue in E minor without opus number which was published in the Organist's Quarterly in 1876 and later issued by Novello. Presumably this will come in a future volume.
John Quinn may still be reasonably surprised that organists did not take up "Jesu Dulcis", since Richard Barnes's edition was published by Cathedral Music in 1982 and has therefore been readily available for 34 years. It should now be obtainable through the Royal Schools of Church Music, if any interested organist is reading this.
It remains surprising that Stanford started to publish organ music on a large scale only after relinquishing his Trinity College appointment and was therefore no longer a practicing organist. The answer seems to be that he he preferred using extempore arrangements of orchestral music for his own preludes and postludes.
Lastly, the description of the second movement of the "Britannica" sonata as "a prayer for peace". I think Stanford's "Benedictus" title is to be taken quite literally, as a blessing on the dead. If you listen with the Latin words of the Benedictus in front of you, you will realize that the Latin Benedictus could be sung to the music, with a few word-repetitions, at least up to "in nomine Domini", after which Stranford's inspiration takes its own course.
Thank you for taking part in the MusicWeb International Forum.
Len Mullenger - Founder of MusicWeb