YouTube Performances from Malcolm

The Webmaster writes:

With his new YouTube channel now up and running, we aim to turn the spotlight on Malcolm’s prowess as a pianist, with videos, recorded and edited by Robert Ruutel, in Malcolm’s Studio, at home in Wiltshire.

As a taster, here is Sir Edward Elgar’s iconic Chanson de Matin, originally written for violin and piano, but here transcribed for piano solo:

Commission a New Choral or Organ Work?

Would you like a new choral work specially composed for your choir, or organ work for your organist? Malcolm is accepting commissions for new anthems, introits, carols, masses and organ works. This could be a perfect way to celebrate the church anniversary or special anniversary of a beloved choir member.

The work can be tailored to your own choral resources and your own budget. Please get in touch via the contact form if you would like to discuss further.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

New Arrival!

A lovely 1984 Steinway Model D concert grand piano, recently restored, is now centre-stage in the studio. This instrument is superb and in top playing condition. It is ideal for solo piano recordings, solo vocal and instrumental accompaniment and chamber music.

This newly-arrived Steinway replaces the previous Model B Steinway, which has now departed for pastures-new…

1984 Steinway Model D Grand Piano

Goldberg Variations now released

Goldberg Variations artwork

The Webmaster writes…

Friday March 5th 2021 saw the release by Convivium Records of Malcolm’s new Goldberg Variations recording. This fresh interpretation of J S Bach’s masterpiece is available both as a physical CD, and in a variety of high definition downloadable file formats, directly from Convivium Records. It is also being carried on popular music streaming services.

Recorded in the new St Paul’s Church music studio, Malcolm’s home, it features Malcolm’s own Alan Gotto harpsichord.

The fruit of many months of planning, rehearsal and fundraising, we feel that the finished product is well worth the effort! An enormous thank you to all who supported the project through the recent crowdfunding appeal.

St Paul’s Church Music Studio

Malcolm’s newly renovated church home in Staverton, Wilts, is now available for hire as a recording or rehearsal venue, along with a range of unique and historic keyboard instruments which may be used as part of any hire arrangement.

For further information about this new and exciting venture, please click HERE, or use the STUDIO item in the main site menu.

The Webmaster

A Bumper Crop of Carols

The Webmaster writes…

The month of November is wearing on rapidly, Advent will soon be upon us, so perhaps it is high time to release a final bumper offering of Malcolm’s carols in anticipation of the festive season, as featured on the recent OUP promotional album of his work:

A Coventry Carol

A dramatic rendering of the 15th century text, fully explored by both choir and organ.

Make We Joy Now in This Fest

A modal feel and lively rhythms give energy to this medieval Christmas text.

Gold for a Manger Bed

An endearing melody makes this an appealing carol for all choirs. Text by Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith (Also available in the Oxford Book of Flexible Carols).

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

An endearing tune, attractive sequences, and a memorable climax. Text: Traditional English.

There is a Flow’r

A beautifully simple setting of the 15th century text by priest & poet John Audelay.

Angels Tell the Christmas Story

A lively and exuberant re-telling of the birth of Jesus, with a text by the composer.

Child of Mary, Softly Sleeping

A charming lullaby by Bishop Dudley-Smith, with a gentle, lifting melody and warm harmonies.

God is Born Among Us

Strophic in form, the catchy refrain is characterised by a rhythmic dotted motif. Text: Traditional Polish (in translation).

A Sound of Singing Fills the Air

A jubilant Gloria combines with a charming melody and warm harmonies. Text: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith.

This Endris Night

Lilting and buoyant, this 15th century text allows textual variety and a rousing finish.

Enjoy this festive collection; the CD also includes a number of sacred compositions for other seasons in the Church’s year, and these will appear here in early 2021. In the meantime, from the Webmaster, a happy Christmas when it arrives!

This compilation © Oxford University Press 2020. All titles © Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Malcolm writes…

This weekend I recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations in my Wiltshire church, using my harpsichord by Alan Gotto, a copy of an instrument by Christian Zell built in 1728 and now in a museum in Hamburg. It all went very well and it was tremendously satisfying to be able to record this great work after all the preparation. I am very grateful to George Richford (producer) Adaq Khan (sound engineer) and Adrian Green (executive producer of Convivium Records) for their support and hard work. I am also grateful to all those who contributed through Crowdfunding UK towards the costs of the project. The recording will be released in the Spring of 2021 and I hope that those who hear it will enjoy the performance.

Gotto Harpsichord

Incidentally, the pulpit behind the harpsichord was preached in on several occasions by the English poet and priest, Rev George Crabbe, of Peter Grimes fame…

Another trio of carols from OUP:

The Webmaster writes…

When Christ was born of Mary free

For SATB and Organ. Calypso rhythms abound throughout, from a quiet opening with the organ part resembling a fountain of bells, the musical texture builds and builds, through a central section with gorgeously creamy harmonies, towards a triumphant finale. The last verse offers plenty of opportunity for a large organ registration, full voice unison signing with a subtle soprano descant. A fun carol to sing!

When Christ was born of Mary free

Infant Holy

In complete contrast, is Infant Holy. The opening verse is a lovely lilting melody, perhaps equally well suited to a solo soprano voice, semi-chorus, or a full top line. The solo character of the melody continues in verse two, supported by unaccompanied ATB, leading to a vuluptuous close-harmony coda, ending a very restful carol.

Infant Holy

A Virgin Most Pure

A return to a syncopated rhythmic style in this carol, with arguably a perfect occasion to showcase some colourful “chiffy” flute stops on great or choir organ in the accompaniment. The musical texture offers a wide variety of vocal performance styles, from unison singing in the first two verses, giving way to rich unaccompanied SATB in verse three, accompanied choir (perhaps featuring a semi-chorus) in verse four, building to a big full choir unison-with-descant final verse.

A Virgin Most Pure

This compilation © Oxford University Press 2020. All titles © Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

More Carols…

The Webmaster writes…

Time for a couple more tracks from Make We Joy:

First up, we have a jaunty carol, As I Sat on a Sunny Bank, set for SATB and Organ. Great fun to sing, no doubt, with a bubbly four-against-three rumba-style rhythm, and an organ part just crying out for plenty of musical colour. To top it all off, there are a couple of vintage Malcolm Archer key changes for performers and listeners alike to savour!

As I Sat on a Sunny Bank

To follow, A Carol of Mary. In contrast to Sunny Bank, this is a gently waltzing lullaby, again set for SATB, and a warm and soothing organ part. Perhaps perform this carol by candlelight, the quality of the light reflecting in the warm tones of the music…

A Carol of Mary

This compilation © Oxford University Press 2020. All titles © Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.