Malcolm Archer: At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners – Review by Choir & Organ

“His instinct for text is evident…” ★★★

21st July 2013

Malcolm Archer: At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners – Review by Choir & Organ

Listen or buy this album:

Malcolm Archer: At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners – Review by Choir & Organ

“His instinct for text is evident…” ★★★

21st July 2013

At The Round Earth's Imagined Corners

Listen or buy this album:

The only (minor) quibble here is that the young Convivium voices sound slightly remote in the admittedly difficult acoustics of Portsmouth Cathedral. Malcolm Archer is well practised at writing for such grand spaces. He never muddies the sound with excess notation or decoration that doesn’t add to the architecture of a piece. His instinct for text is evident in his lovely The Carol of the Stable, where the light-voiced ‘l’ sounds carry much of the music.

The title setting of Donne is eminently singable and plain-spoken, a reminder that the Dean of St Paul’s was a preacher as well as a ‘Metaphysical’. As we mark the centenary of the first world war next year, we might do worse than adopt Archer’s In War, Resolution (based on a line Churchill wrote in 1948 but apparently said 30 years earlier) as an anthem of peace.

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The only (minor) quibble here is that the young Convivium voices sound slightly remote in the admittedly difficult acoustics of Portsmouth Cathedral. Malcolm Archer is well practised at writing for such grand spaces. He never muddies the sound with excess notation or decoration that doesn’t add to the architecture of a piece. His instinct for text is evident in his lovely The Carol of the Stable, where the light-voiced ‘l’ sounds carry much of the music.

The title setting of Donne is eminently singable and plain-spoken, a reminder that the Dean of St Paul’s was a preacher as well as a ‘Metaphysical’. As we mark the centenary of the first world war next year, we might do worse than adopt Archer’s In War, Resolution (based on a line Churchill wrote in 1948 but apparently said 30 years earlier) as an anthem of peace.

Review written by:

Review published in:

Other reviews by this author:

Featured artists:

Featured composers: