I agree with Chris Howell that it seems most unlikely that Stanford would have let the orchestra sit around doing nothing if he had them to hand. On the other hand, Peter John Smith's thesis states that of the four publications which reviewed the concert where the 'Gloria' was featured, only one mentioned the presence of an orchestra (not something one would think could be easily overlooked!) and one specifically referred to a "special organ and vocal recital" which would certainly imply that there was no orchestra present. (And that was the only review which specifically mentioned the Stanford work.) Could there possibly have been two celebratory concerts on the same day, one with orchestra and one with organ alone? But then if Stanford was conducting the Parry work, why would he not have included his 'Gloria' in the same orchestral concert?
I don't imagine that this is a confusion that at this late date will ever be clarified. But, as Chris Howell states, it does not diminish the fact that the first complete performance was that in Cardiff last October. The work itself deserved a better fate than a century of neglect.
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