Welcome to Malcolm Hill’s Home Page
In August 2015, Malcolm Hill started uploading many of his compositions onto Petrucci Music – IMSLP at http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Hill,_Malcolm
Planned First Performances of Choral Works:
Malcolm Hill’s 45-minute comedy-opera Bath: The Graveyard of Ambition received its first [free admission] performance on Saturday 19th August 2017, starting at 6.30 in the Magdalen Chapel, Holloway, Bath. It was performed by Bath Chamber Opera, to mark the opera’s leading tenor Robert Jack’s moving from Bath to Cambridge at the end of August. [The 6.30 start was to give time for audience-members to get to later events in Bath.]
The comedy-opera is set in a medical waiting room in Bath, where various patients discuss their problems with the City: Seagulls, Pollution, Library-closures, Parking, etc.. v Georgian architecture, Walks along the river, the various Festivals.
After a brief Overture, four “professional patients” arrive who are instructed by a fierce receptionist to fill in a questionnaire about the surgery’s proposed move. The patients discuss problems about living in Bath before another patient arrives who happily announces he is leaving Bath. A depressed woman sings about how terrible the city is to her, and he unsuccessfully tries to console her. In contrast, a jubilant new character who has just moved to Bath arrives to register – she sings about how much she enjoys what she has seen so far. Enter an angry man who has just been splattered by a seagull: he complains about how futile the attempts seem to have been in controlling them. He is sent in to see the doctor, but soon returns in an even worse mood – all the doctor wanted was to discuss the surgery-move rather than consider his symptoms: “Here’s a pamphlet, goodbye”. There is a general outburst which the receptionist tries to quell. Then the doctor emerges: he is totally worn out and leaves. The receptionist and the new female patient conclude that few leave the city, even if they no longer have the energy.
The mostly neo-baroque comedy-opera is set in English and based on texts and tunes of the 17th and 18th centuries. Main parts were sung by Jane Hunt (a soprano who has just moved to Bath and likes everything about it), Katherine Lush (a mezzo who is really depressed), Robert Jack (tenor who is leaving the ‘Graveyard of Ambition’), Paul Feldwick (bass-baritone who has just received a ‘present’ from a seagull and is in a bad mood); they all have to get past the fierce receptionist (Katharine Adams, soprano). Other singers included Alison Alexander (soprano who acts as Paul Feldwick’s carer), Mandy Shaw (contralto who leads the ‘professional patients’ who meet at the same time every week in the surgery’s waiting room and discuss current problems), John Gutteridge (the exhausted and exasperated doctor), and various other patients (sung by members of the Chandos Singers).
* * * * * *
The second movement of Malcolm Hill’s secular cantata Avon Street – en plein air was performed at St. Michael’s Without Church, Bath as part of the Bath Festival on 19th May 2017: a setting of Caroline Heaton’s five-movement poem which first appeared in find another bath – a book compiled by Anna Kot in the Autumn of 2016. The poem was printed opposite a painting by Ben Hughes (below). The complete work was performed on 8th July 2017 at the Magdalen Chapel, Holloway, Bath. The Chandos Singers of Bath in both performances were enhanced by main soloists Jane Hunt (soprano, 8th July only) and Paul Feldwick (bass-baritone, both performances) and Hugh Osborne (cor anglais).
In the same concert on 8th July, Malcolm’s 5-minute setting of Richard Pearce’s poem The Endless Weave received its first performance. The poem also appeared in find another bath, printed opposite a triptych painting “Dancing from the Mist” by Usha Pearce (below). Malcolm Hill’s setting is for three soprano soloists, three choral sopranos and chamber organ.
Recent First Performances of Choral Works:
Many of Malcolm Hill’s settings of poetry by Caroline Heaton were performed by Jane Hunt, Paul Feldwick and the Chandos Singers on Saturday 12th November 2016 at 3pm at St James Priory, Bristol as part of a concert to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Bristol Magna Carta (on 12th November 1216).
Malcolm Hill’s Eight Songs from 1500 were performed on Saturday 2nd July 2016 by Katharine Adams, Julia Rushworth, Robert Jack and Paul Feldwick, accompanied by Malcolm Hill.
Four of Malcolm Hill’s works were performed on Friday 20th May 2016 (at St Swithin’s, Bath). At 7.40 a concert performance of excerpts from his comedy-opera Neptune was presented by Bath Chamber Opera (who Bath Festivals had mistakenly advertised as Bath Chamber Orchestra). Then at 8.40 his medieval setting of Quasimodo, his 19th setting of Jeesus Kristus meele nyt and his ornamented version of Josquin’s Regina were sung at the start of a set of choral works sung by the Chandos Singers.