Portsmouth Cathedral Choir: Music for Seafarers


A collection of seafaring and maritime music, featuring Portsmouth Cathedral Choir, Malcolm Archer and Convivium Singers.


About this release

An original and exciting collection of anthems, hymns, part-songs and folk-songs celebrating the Exchange’s longstanding support of seafarers and England’s rich, maritime musical tradition. Presented by The Baltic Exchange, London, in partnership with Portsmouth Cathedral Choir, Malcolm Archer and the Convivium Singers.


“I listened to this new CD from start to finish with the greatest enjoyment and admiration”
Sir David Willcocks, British choral conductor, organist and composer

“I’ve just listened to your recording of Vast Ocean of Light – it sounds wonderful!  The organ presence and colour is excellent, the pacing is very satisfying, the choir sings beautifully, and, best of all, there is a real feeling of vastness to it.  Thank you!”
Jonathan Dove, British Composer featured on ‘Music for Seafarers’

“As ever, Malcolm captures the beauty of the words with arching melodies and moving harmonies. It is easy to see and hear why his music is so popular – a joy for singers and listeners alike. His innate understanding of vocal technique and accessibility shine through”
Andrew Lumsden, Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral

“Convivium Singers are a group of young professional singers with a thirst for high standards, and it has been a delight to work with them too. I do commend this company to you, especially if you’re seeking recording opportunities with your own choir”
Malcolm Archer, Director of Music, Winchester College

“Take this disc, Music for Seafarers, unique in addressing the seafaring community. Savour it; the pure beauty of Malcolm’s arrangements for “Here I am Lord” and “Nearer, my God, to Thee”. Then, in contrast, the “Anthem for Seafarers”, specially commissioned by The Baltic Exchange, full of menace and the power of the sea. The extraordinary breadth and sensitivity of Malcolm’s composition made him the perfect choice when we decided to celebrate in music the role of the seafarer”
Michael K. Drayton, Past Chairman of The Baltic Exchange

“Convivium Singers and members of the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir have delivered beautiful performances of an appealing collection of repertoire. I’m delighted to have my work represented by these fine musicians and look forward very much to our future collaborations”
Carson Cooman, Composer in Residence, Harvard University, The Memorial Church, featured on ‘Music for Seafarers’

(February, 2013)

About the artists

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

Portsmouth Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir is made up of twenty-four boy choristers and fourteen gentlemen (made up of seven lay-clerks and up to seven choral scholars) who contribute to the pattern of daily cathedral worship. The choristers rehearse on weekday mornings at 8.00am before a normal school day in preparation for the week’s music. In any normal week the Cathedral Choir sings for at least 5 services.

The choristers are educated at Portsmouth Grammar School that, as such acts as our choir school. Opportunities exist for counter-tenor, tenor or basses who, having completed their school or university education, are looking for the chance to sing and work within a cathedral foundation for a year with a Choral Scholarship. 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
  • They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships - Grayston Ives
  • Vast Ocean of Light - Jonathan Dove
  • Here I Am, Lord - Daniel Schutt, arr. Malcolm Archer
  • Windswept Skies - Carson Cooman
  • Anthem for Seafarers (Eternal Father, Strong to Save) - Malcolm Archer
  • Never Weather-Beaten Sail - Charles Wood
  • Sailing - arr. Peter Hunt
  • Sea Fever - John Ireland
  • The Water Is Wide - arr. William Drakett
  • Blow the Wind Southerly - arr. Timothy Salter
  • There Is an Old Belief - Hubert Parry
  • Crossing the Bar - Hubert Parry
  • Nearer, My God, to Thee - Lowell Mason, arr. Malcolm Archer
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Catalogue number: CR010

Choir Portsmouth Cathedral Choir
Choir Convivium Singers
Organ / Piano Marcus Wibberley, William Drakett, Joe Waggott, David Price
Conductor(s) Malcolm Archer, David Price, William Drakett, Alexander Norman

Cover Image Courtesy of Stena Bulk
Photography Various
Engineering Adaq Khan, Kevin Hodgson
Sound Assistance Kevin Hodgson
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer(s) Malcolm Archer, Andrew King, Alexander Norman, William Drakett, David Millinger
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 17 September 2010, 2 March, 16, 17 April, 9, 10 July, 2012
Venue Portsmouth Cathedral
Total Duration 54 mins

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