More than Hymns
Wells Cathedral Choir
Director: Malcolm Archer
Organ: Rupert Gough
More Than Hymns
More than Hymns is the title of two collections of hymn-anthems recently published by Novello & Co. Ten pieces from each of the two volumes have now been specially recorded for this CD by Wells Cathedral Choir.
The texts and music embrace many periods and differing styles, ranging from the 17th century poetry of George Herbert to the 20th Century hymns and worship-songs of Sydney Carter and David Evans, whilst the music spans a period of four centuries, with several original compositions, together with new realisations and specially commissioned arrangements of well known tunes.
Malcolm Archer was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Wells Cathedral in 1996 where he directs and trains the Cathedral choir for its daily services in the Cathedral, as well as being the Musical Director for Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society. In addition to overseas tours and radio and TV broadcasts he has recorded with the Cathedral Choir a wide range of CDs and the choir now records regularly for several record companies.
Malcolm was educated at King Edward VII School, Lytham, the Royal College of Music (where he was an RCO scholar) and Jesus College Cambridge where he was organ scholar. He studied the organ with Ralph Downes, Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston, and composition with Herbert Sumsion and Alan Ridout. He continues to study the organ with Daniel Roth in Paris. He has given organ concerts in nine European countries, Canada and the USA. Amongst other notable invitations, he has played for the IAO Congress on more than one occasion and given the Winston Churchill Memorial Concert at Blenheim Palace. He has also recorded for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3, and played at most principal venues in the UK including Birmingham Town Hall, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, Westminster Cathedral and King’s and St. John’s Colleges, Cambridge. He has recorded six organ CDs in repertoire as varied as J.S.Bach and Olivier Messiaen.
Malcolm Archer is also a prolific composer with well over 150 published works. His work Three Psalms of David was premiered in Wells Cathedral as part of the Classics West Festival, with the Classics West International Chorus and The Virtuosi of London. He has also written a five movement millennium work for Lichfield Cathedral, called The Coming of the Kingdom. He was commissioned to write works for The Southern Cathedrals’ Festival, the Exeter Festival and the Musica Deo Sacra Festival. He has recently been commissioned to write a work for the 350th Sons of the Clergy Festival in 2004, which is held in St. Paul’s Cathedral. His works receive regular performances on BBC Radio and TV.
Malcolm Archer is an examiner and council member for the Royal College of Organists and an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
Rupert Gough enjoys a busy career as recitalist, conductor and accompanist. He has been involved in some twenty commercial recordings as an organ soloist, accompanist, harpsichordist and conductor on many labels. He won Third Prize in the 2000 St. Albans International Organ Competition and has previously been a finalist in the Royal College of Organists ‘Performer of the year’ competition.
Since 1994 Rupert has been Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral where he accompanies and assists in directing the nine sung services every week. He appears regularly with the choir in concerts all over the world, on the radio, television and can be heard on many different recordings. He also teaches organ at Wells Cathedral School where he has prepared a number of pupils for Oxbridge scholarships and study in Conservatoires.
Rupert has also established a successful organ and violin duo with his wife Rachel. Recent engagements included premiering a new work by Timothy Salter in St. John’s, Smith Square. They are now represented in the USA by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.
Produced by Barry Rose
Recorded and edited by Lance Andrews
Photograph by Tony Bolton