Michael Kaminski is an organist at a Catholic Church in Brooklyn in New York. He recently purchased a copy of The Lancaster Suite and he sent a message giving his reaction. Clearly it will be featured in his recitals!
I have just received the copy of The Lancaster Suite by Malcolm Archer which you sent.
Just a few comments about my impressions of the piece. I was most impressed by his ability to combine the new and interesting with the “tried and true”. The first movement is both stately and fresh. It reminds me of the hymn, “Come, Rejoice Before Your Maker” (tune: Jubilate Deo by Noel Tredinnick, 1973) from the old Worship Hymnal, second edition. I’ll send you a copy if you wish. The second is a wonderful pastoral setting with just enough dissonance to provide good flavour. The third movement is good, clean fun. The fourth is sumptuous with ravishing turns of phrase. I was also very impressed with the accompaniment. It has some nice surprises. It should be given a place with the best slow movements in the repertoire. The last movement is exciting without being “typewriter-esque.” The toccata, like all the movements, has a marvelous melody. I was inspired to track the piece down after reading the review by Kenneth Udy in “The Diapason”
The only other piece by Archer that I’ve had ever worked on was the anthem, “River of the Water of Life.” Are there any other anthems on that order that you could recommend?