Hugh Benham: Sacred Choral Music


A new recording of Hugh Benham’s Sacred Choral Music, featuring Convivium Singers accompanied by Malcolm Archer and directed by Alexander Norman.

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About this release

Explore this new album of sacred choral works for amateur and professional choirs by British composer, Hugh Benham, performed by the award-winning Convivium Singers with organist Malcolm Archer, directed by Alexander Norman.

Programme Notes

Some of the choral music on this disc is suitable for small four-part choirs in parish churches, accompanied by organ.  Other pieces were composed with larger spaces in mind. For example the Mass, Evening Service, O sacrum convivium II and Love’s redeeming work,

Everything is primarily for listening, including what might be termed ‘devotional listening’. The texts draw from a variety of Christian traditions.

Tracks 2, 5 and 6 are among those published by H.T. FitzSimons. Track 21 ‘When Christ was Born’ is available from World Library Publications. Scores of works so far unpublished may be obtained from Convivium Records.

About the artists

Hugh Benham

Hugh BenhamHugh Benham is a graduate of the University of Southampton (BA, PhD). He is a writer of academic and educational books and articles. These are chiefly on Tudor church music, as well as subjects relating to A-level Music, including harmony and counterpoint.

He is director of music at St Boniface CofE Church in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire. In addition, he is Chairman of the Academic Board of The Guild of Church Musicians and a member of Council. He has also served as Chair of the Winchester Area of the RSCM.

Alexander Norman

Alexander Norman is Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church, Coventry. He holds a Master of Music degree from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where he studied Choral Conducting with Paul Spicer. Before this, Alex was an undergraduate student and organ scholar at Royal Holloway College. He accompanied the Chapel Choir for weekly services and Broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and 3 (Choral Evensong). Alex also accompanied recording of music by Rihards Dubra on the Hyperion label.

He has played the organ for the choir in many prestigious cathedrals and churches. These include Evensongs at St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), St. George’s Chapel (Windsor), Washington National Cathedral and St. John the Divine Cathedral (New York). In addition, Alex has given organ recitals at Birmingham and Coventry Cathedrals as well as in local churches. He studied the organ with Rupert Gough and Alistair Reid.

During his time as Artistic Director of Convivium Singers, Alex was producer on a number of recordings for Convivium Records. These include albums of choral music by Malcolm Archer and Margaret Rizza. Alex also conducted on a CD of music by the late Renaissance composer Peter Philips.

He directed the ensemble at the Tolosa International Choral Contest and at festivals in Italy, Sardinia and the Czech Republic. He subsequently returned to Tolosa in October 2018 to conduct Convivium Singers at the 50th Anniversary of the Choral Contest.

Alexander Norman founded the Charpentier Ensemble in 2015 to explore vocal music of the Baroque Era. This involves some of the rising stars of the early music scene.

Convivium Singers

Convivium Singers is an award-winning, critically acclaimed choral ensemble. They provide opportunities for young singers at the early stages of performing careers. In addition, talented musicians who have chosen not to pursue careers in music form part of the ensemble. Above all, the ensemble specialises in performing and recording sacred and secular music by living European and American composers. BBC Radio 3’s ‘CD Review’ recently described them as ‘an extraordinarily good choir to listen to’. Read more

Malcolm Archer

Malcolm Archer has had a distinguished career in church music. He held the post of Organist and Director of Music at Bristol, Wells and St Paul’s Cathedral. He was subsequently Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College for eleven years.

Malcolm studied as an RCO scholar at the Royal College of Music and was Organ Scholar at Jesus College Cambridge. His organ teachers were Ralph Downes, Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston.

As an organist and harpsichordist he is in frequent demand. He has given solo concerts all over the world, including the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. His performances with orchestra have included Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and the Bach keyboard concertos. Malcolm has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in a classic rock concert in the Royal Albert Hall. Moreover, he has an extensive concert repertoire and has recorded a wide variety of works including J.S. Bach organ works and Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur. Read more

CD Booklet
  • Glorious things of thee are spoken - Hugh Benham
  • Love's redeeming work - Hugh Benham
  • Ubi caritas (Where there's love) - Hugh Benham
  • Ave Maria - Hugh Benham
  • Love came down at Christmas - Hugh Benham
  • Divinum mysterium (There is no rose) - Hugh Benham
  • Chant donné - Hugh Benham
  • Basse donnée - Hugh Benham
  • Mass Veni Creator Spiritus; Kyrie - Hugh Benham
  • Mass Veni Creator Spiritus; Gloria - Hugh Benham
  • Mass Veni Creator Spiritus; Sanctus - Hugh Benham
  • Mass Veni Creator Spiritus; Agnus Dei - Hugh Benham
  • Trinity Voluntary - Hugh Benham
  • Praise to God - Hugh Benham
  • O sacrum convivium II - Hugh Benham
  • Evening Service in G for Unison Upper Voices; Magnificat - Hugh Benham
  • Evening Service in G for Unison Upper Voices; Nunc Dimittis - Hugh Benham
  • A Prayer of St John Chrysostom - Hugh Benham
  • God be in my head - Hugh Benham
  • Every day we meet with Christ - Hugh Benham
  • When Christ was born - Hugh Benham
  • Teach me, my God and King - Hugh Benham
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Catalogue number: CR050

Conductor Alexander Norman
Organ Malcolm Archer
Choir Convivium Singers
Composer Hugh Benham
Engineering & Editing
Adaq Khan
Mastering Adaq Khan
Recording Location St. Alban the Martyr, Highgate, Birmingham
Producer George Richford
Programme Notes Dr Hugh Benham
Artist Photography
Mike Cooter
Cover Image Malina Green. Used by permission
Creative Director Mike Cooter
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Further information

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