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Interview with Malcolm Archer on Winchester College Chapel Choir & Mozart’s Requiem (Cross Rhythms)

Malcolm Archer

Tony Cummings from Cross Rhythms talked to the director of Winchester College Chapel Choir, Malcolm Archer.

January 26th 2018, reproduced from Cross Rhythms website.

Malcolm Archer has been rightly called “one of the world’s leading church musicians” and his achievements are, quite frankly, staggering. As an organ recitalist he has played in nine European countries and the US while his CDs take in composers as diverse as Bach and Messiaen. As a composer he has written over two hundred published compositions. And as a choir director he has served at Norwich, Bristol and Wells Cathedrals while his time as Director Of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral saw his best-selling album of Christmas music at St Paul’s named Editor’s number one choice in the Daily Telegraph. In August 2007 he took up a new position as Director Of Chapel Music and organist at Winchester Cathedral where he is in charge of the Winchester College Chapel Choir as well as teaching the organ. That choir directed by Archer recently released ‘Mozart Requiem‘ on Convivium Records.


Mozart’s Requiem “Musical Education at it’s best” (Adrian Green)

Performing Mozart’s Requiem at my secondary school was one of the highlights of my musical education. Unfortunately, it’s something few teenagers have the opportunity to experience. I loved the extremity of emotional expression in the music, from the furious paced Kyrie, to the haunting Lacrimosa and the sublime Lux Aeterna. At that time, I had no idea I’d go on to establish Convivium Records a decade later and that it would provide the opportunity to work with some of the most outstanding artists in the country to produce a new album of this masterpiece.


Margaret Rizza: “The renowned composer of Christian choral music” (Cross Rhythms)

Margaret Rizza is one of the most admired composers of church music of recent times. The recent release of ‘The Celtic Collection’ where 18 Celtic and Gaelic prayers have been beautifully set to music by Margaret and sung by Sarum Voices conducted by Ben Lamb, and ‘Officium Divinum’, a musical journey through the daily cycle of prayer, demonstrate just how diverse are the talents of this profoundly gifted lady. Margaret sang professionally for 25 years under the name Margaret Lensky at concert and operatic venues performing with such conductors as Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky and Leonard Bernstein yet in more recent times has seen in 2006 her original arrangements of Taize chants reach number one in the Classic FM charts.


Robert Hugill on “Convivium Records: Balancing commercial and artistic values”

Review: Planet Hugill
(Robert Hugill)
ON Balancing commercial and artistic values: I talk to Adrian Green of Convivium Records

4th March 2017

Convivium Records is a relatively young record label, developing an interesting and eclectic catalogue with a significant choral bent, and a lively mix of music including a number of contemporary composers such as Dan LocklairGabriel Jackson and Oliver Tarney, as well as discs of the contemplative, spiritual music of Margaret Rizza. The label was founded by Adrian Green, himself a singer and the label’s Managing Director. I met up with Adrian to find out more about the label and its development.


Homeward Bound: Angus Benton’s NSPCC Appeal Album (2017)

BBC’s Young Chorister of the Year 2015 Angus Benton:

“I’ve been so lucky to find my voice through singing. I also have family and friends who care about me, listen to me and help me. But I know that for too many children, Childline is the only place they can turn to.

With money raised from these concerts and this recording, I hope the NSPCC can help children in need everywhere to find their own voices and find happiness.”

NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless:

“Angus’ support will help us to protect even more children from abuse and neglect. I am delighted that hear Angus has chosen to donate part of his album proceeds to help children who are supported by the NSPCC—a remarkable act of selflessness. On behalf of everyone at the NSPCC and the children whose lives he will help, I thank him wholeheartedly.”

Managing Director Adrian Green:

Convivium Records work with many young artists and were delighted by Angus Benton’s proposal to use his solo recording to help children in need. We have committed to giving 10% of proceeds from CD sales of Angus Benton’s album to the NSPCC over the first year of sales with a minimum commited donation of £250 to assist with its valuable work.

A Mulitiude of Voices “delivered with exquisite simplicity and unforced grace” (★★★★) Choir & Organ

Review: Choir & Organ
ON A Mulitiude of Voices (Chris Watson, Sospiri)

March 2015

The war poetry of 1914-18 burned away grandeur in an alembic of pity. These modern settings of verse by Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas and Charlotte Mew (by David Bednall), Guillaume Apollinaire (by Frank Ferko), Ivor Gurney (by Richard Allain) and August Stramm (by John Duggan), among others, restore something of that quality to the experience.

A Multitude of Voices “a fascinating programme finely performed” (★★★★★), Robert Hughill

Review: Planet Hugill
(Robert Hugill)
ON A Multitude of Voices (Christopher Watson, Sospiri)

27th January 2015

On this disc from Convivium Records, Christopher Watson and the choir, Sospiri, present a programme of contemporary works inspired by World War One, many commissioned by the choir as part of their A Multitude of Voices project. Christopher talked to me about the project last year (see my interview with him on this blog) and it is fascinating to hear the finished results. The disc includes music by a varied group of composers, David Bednall, Cecilia McDowall, Frank Ferko, John Duggan, Colin Mawby, Richard Allain, Alexander L’Estrange and Francis Pott. The project was conceived in 2011 by Christopher Watson and composer John Duggan (co-founders of the Oxford-based choir Sospiri) and they were keen for composers to look outside the normal poetic canon.


Peter Philips played on ‘Essential Classics’

News: BBC Radio 3 'Essential Classics' ON 'Peter Philips' (Alexander Norman & Convivium Singers)

21st January 2015

Convivium Singers were delighted to have been included in today's broadcast of Essential Classics on BBC Radio 3. The featured track "Ave verum corpus" was recorded by Alexander Norman & Convivium Singers" on their album "Peter Philips: An Englishman Abroad" and can the performance can be hear about 40 minutes into the programme which is available on to hear on demand through BBC iPlayer until Friday 20 February 2015. Listen here: BBC iPlayer

James Bowman (Writing Exclusively for Cathedral Music Magazine)

Article: Cathedral Music ON 'Thus Angels Sung' (James Bowman & Malcolm Archer)

20th November 2014

I have been involved with music in cathedrals for most of my singing life. This recording, whilst not exclusively devoted to cathedral music, does contain quite a few sacred items which have meant a great deal to me over the years; I wanted to record them before it was too late.
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