O CREATOR SPIRIT- Malcolm Hawkins Vol.1 – CC6049


“Malcolm Hawkins creates a harmonious choral sound in the English tradition together with the fresh young voices of the Godwine Choir make these Spiritual performances both joyous and moving”

** The BBC Singers performed the Rainbow arc on Radio 3 on 23rd December 2022, Live from Temple Church, London **


O Creator Spirit       The plainsong Veni Creator Spiritus is the basis for he opening of the cantata, and reappears in the lower voices later in the piece. Creativity seems to come and go, and the text and music reflects this – a ship in a  storm, mundane distractions, a garden with a fountain of gifts, and, in angelic presence, a rose.

Rainbow Arc            Carol for the lonely written during the lockdown

Four Carols              1998 E.C. Schirmer. Premiered St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, James Morgan. The text arises from ancient symbolism which conveys the joy of birth and the mystery of life. The Iris is almost as old as time, and Jubal is the original musician.

Imprisoned               The cantata was inspired by the story of Norah Chambers and Margaret Dryborough, who, imprisoned along with 600 women and children in Sumatra in 1943, formed a choir, rearranging, from memory, music which inspired them all. The text refers to one imprisoned woman, separated from her child. While this is fictitious, it is notable that the numbers of women in prison have greatly increased. The triumph of singing over adversity is shown in the final hymn, In Dark Cavern.

The Riders                1988 Stainer and Bell. First performed by the choristers of Lichfield Cathedral directed by Jonathan Rees Williams.

Rosamundi               1994 Alliance Publications. Written for the choir of the First Parish in Lincoln Massachusetts to celebrate the birth of daughter Rosamund. Rosamundi is Latin for flower of the world.

Salvia Blue                More flowers in this text, which sprang from the Revelation of St John – a guarded secret lies in the leaves of the tree.

In Brighter Sky         A Hymn for Peace.

The cantata Martha and Lazarus was commissioned in 2013 by the Arlington Music Society, Boston and its conductor Barry Singer. It was inspired by the Caravaggio masterpiece ‘The raising of Lazarus’. The text is mostly original, with some passages from the Gospel of St John. This excerpt begins with the Baritone solo Take away the stone. ‘Father I thank thee that thou has heard me’ and concludes with ‘His feet in icy cramp now find, in miracle, their way with Martha to the waiting day’.

Song Texts:


 O Creator Spirit Whence come you?

Come you in swirling cloud come you in rushing wind, like phantom vessel, sail unfurled, down river of the underworld?

Come you from soaring height,

come you from smoke and fire,

to guide our mind with your blest light

in fleeting vision to inspire?

In thundercloud, in raging storm,

every way the ship is tossed;

ghostly mast may disappear

with whispered word, forever lost.

Cease, hopeless turmoil of the brain – in silence hear a new refrain.



Caught in worldly merry-go-round

we pass the same old road-sign,

and when at last we come to ground

then miss God-given lifeline.

Caught in milling, murmuring crowd,

or trapped on concrete sidewalk,

we move in time to overheated small talk.

Hey, hey, hey man, you never ever listen.

Leave this worldly merry-go-round

on a journey leading no place –

some rattling streetcar downward bound

to never-ending goose chase.

Hey, hey, hey man: you never ever listen.

Where? Still floundering –

empty horizon – will turmoil never ceased?

here is no inner peace –

creator spirit are you gone?



 Veiled in murky grey

hidden from light of day

is there a ghostly form,

come from unworldly place,

moving in shadowy grace.

In time the cloud will lift:

in dawning roseate

will spectre modulate

into a fleeting gift.

Now will open mind

its own true pathway find

through secret garden, where

shrouded in mystery

golden fountain will be.



By stone angel see fountain play

in gentle bubbling.

‘Behold the tree’, they seem to say

in gentle bubbling,

whose intertwining branches hide

in gentle rustling,

for mind who would create, a bride

in gentle bubbling

In searching soul to plant a seed

in gentle swaying,

for sudden thought, for lasting deed.



Now can damask rose be seen,

of our garden reigning queen

her origin a mystery.

She will symbolise the birth

of creative gift on earth –

her origin a mystery.

Sun will shine and wind will blow,

in bright colour she will grow

in her glory swaying.


RAINBOW ARC  (Track 6)

When trembling world is locked in fear

when silent voices bring no cheer

when loved ones are so far apart

when absence weighs on loving heart

Come, Christmas come.

To those who often are alone

To those whose work, for now, is done

Let merry company enhance their life,

and bring them to the dance.

Come, Christmas come.

For winter festival is meant

to bring great joy, from heaven sent

to lighten every corner dark

from thunder cloud to rainbow arc.

Come, Christmas come.

The text of the Four Carols arises from ancient symbolism, which conveys both the joy of birth and the mystery of life. The Iris is almost as old as time, and Jubal is the original musician. These symbols are to be found in many paintings. The accompaniment can be on any keyboard instrument as an alternative to harp. The first performances of the set, by the choir of St. Paul’s, Knightsbridge, London, conducted by James Morgan, and by the choir of the First Parish in Lincoln, Massachusetts, directed by the composer, took place in December, 1998.


A VISION  (Track 7)

A vision of an angel

is come and gone.

An olive branch,

a white robe,

a crown that shone.

To give a fleeting message

of coming birth,

or leave the unbelieving

on darkest earth.

O Gabriel appear to every mother-to-be.

Was this an invitation,

mysterious wraith,

to grasp the branch of olive

in child-like faith?

To touch the long dalmatic,

to kneel and pray

that from the vanished vision

the gift may stay.

O Gabriel appear to every mother-to-be.


STORM CLOUD  (Track 8)

Storm cloud, quickening, gathering,

sea creatures leaping from ocean


Deep grey, blackening, threatening

death to the victims of mighty Aquarius.

The star of Our Lady is hidden tonight.

Boatman, row away, look away

Eastward the sky is no longer so


Miles high, up away, far away,

slowly emerging from patterns of


The star of Our Lady is glowing tonight.


IRIS  (Track 9)

Iris with your blue and purple hue in season,

Iris have your gold and red or old a reason?


Lily of the sword with bearded blade,

Like a joyous chord, so soon to fade.

Iris beauteous, will you be there tomorrow,

Iris, enigmatic bloom of joy or sorrow?



JUBAL  (Track 10)

O tuneful lyre of Jubal,

Play merry Noel.

Resound in many a far Eastern key.

Now bind a wondering mother

in magical spell

to give her child a lifetime of melody.

O haunting lyre of Jubal,

Come cross the chasm of ages to sing!


IMPRISONED  (Track 11)

Cry for one who is locked away in prison grey.

Deep injustice preys on a lonely mind each passing day.

Cry for one whom the world has left behind.

Never before in a lifetime of loving an only child

was she convicted of any crime now she cowers in dread of a door chime.

Why do they take her away to dark, damp cell with vacant stare?

Never before did she steal to feed her child ‘weeping in fear she stands reviled.

Why do they lock her away in dark, damp hell where cold eyes glare?

No! no way out for you.

Night is long without sleep time to shiver,

time to weep sneering voices come to taunt

leering faces come to haunt daytime passes in a void sorrow, terror unalloyed.

Out of a tiny window there are only grey clouds of worry up above

clouds of worry for her love he will be taken away to another place; she will have no say – just another case.

Never give in to despair never descend a dark stair;

when facing a long steep slope climb to tender leaves of hope.

On every side the wicked prowl waiting to do a deed most foul.

Let no imprisonment destroy a body suffering from wrong.

A wicked deed may take its toil but never conquer human soul.

In black cavern echoing way, way below softly will a bubbling spring for ever flow.

In black cavern underground on will she run unimpeded outward bound into the sun.

From black cavern breaking free so will the mind in a joyous harmony salvation find.


THE RIDERS  (Track12)

In the dark three men are riding,

Under heaven’s mantle hiding,

Who are they and why are they travelling so far,

Following a rocky way guided by a star?

Put a flame to a beacon

put a flame to a beacon

to light the pathway

Lying ahead of them.

Stars fade into dawn’s grey curtain;

Now the riders grow uncertain.

Who are they and do they know what the day will bring,

following a rocky way looking for a king?


ROSAMUNDI  (Track 13)

A dreamy image of a garden behind a gate

conceals a mystery no mortal can penetrate.

Refrain O violet and lily of the valley ring around a Rosamundi.

The key is guarded by an angel, the fountain sealed,

suggesting that no hidden secret can be revealed.

Yet flies a goldfinch in the garden

and flowers adorn the Holy Mother gently speaking to child newborn.

O child of God; no fear attends you.

How pure you seem!

Your happy smile is too enchanting to be a dream.

On the occasion of the birth of daughter, Rosamund, in 1994   (n.b. the Latin, rosa mundi, means ‘flower of the world.)


SALVIA BLUE  (Track14)

Thus spoke John and according to John in Revelation

a guarded secret to heal the nation lies in the leaves of the tree.

How to know if this can be true Jasmine crimson, Salvia blue?

Thus spoke John and according to John in Revelation

can there be within a form so faint as if a shadow of the saint

lies in the leaves of the tree.

How to know if this can be true

Jasmine crimson, Salvia Blue?

Gallop on to the hilltop

gallop on to the hilltop

to find the pathway leading to Bethlehem.

In the light of early morning

On the road the truth is dawning

These three men are wise and bold.

Follow them and we may see a mystery unfold!

To a pipe and a tabor

to a pipe and a tabor

they ride the pathway leading to Bethlehem.



Somewhere on earth always a place is torn apart by war.

Somewhere a long enduring race is riven asunder by war.

Is there no better choice given by a calmer voice singing for peace?

In brighter sky blow changing wind on flag of truce unfurl’d –

an ever present chance to bring at last a war-free world,

When folk who waited long will form a mighty throng singing for peace.



 – Live Recording – At Saints Hove 12/7/2014 –

Orpheus Sinfonia

Brighton Festival Choir

Paul Reeves – Baritone

James Morgan – Conductor

**James Morgan – Website



Ieuan Jones – harp

Magdalena Riedl – violin

Mateus Dandalo – violin

Wanshu Qiu – viola (25/2/2022)

Rosamund Hawkins  – viola (26/2/2022)

Gunda Baranauskate – cello

Benjamin Du Toit – double bass


Singer list


Marion Bettsworth

Jocelyn Coates

Alice Fisher

Rebecca Maggs

Romy Nuttall

Elizabeth Phippard

Ruth Persian

Katherine Sidders

Faith Williams


Jo Hale

Eva Hilger

Grace Howson

Helena Jaeggi

Ellen Reading


Edward Catmur

Alex Davan Wetton – Music Director

Jack Fleming

Edward Hughes

Gareth Moss

Rupert Venn


Hugh Collins

Jonathan Holburn

Richard Pelmore

Timo Sheridan

Stefan Ward-Caddle

David Young


Founded in 2014 by graduates from the University of Cambridge, the Godwine Choir has established itself as one of London’s most dynamic and versatile chamber choirs. The choir was shortlisted for the 2016 Choir of the Year competition, adjudicator Manvinder Rattan crediting their “polished, refined” performance.

The choir has a particular interest in English a capella music from the 20th and 21st centuries. They regularly perform works by contemporary composers, with recent concerts featuring music by Judith Weir, Huw Morgan, and Meredith Monk; in 2014, they recorded the world première of Roderick Williams’ Christmas Bells for the Financial Times. The choir gave the first performance of a new arrangement of Malcolm Arnold’s John Clare Cantata as part of the 10th Anniversary Malcolm Arnold Festival, with their singing described by Seen and Heard International as “well prepared and delightful”.

In 2018, the choir’s first recording, Dream Tryst, a disc of music by Holst and Dyson including several previously unrecorded works, was released on the English Music Records label; the choir drew praise for “excellent intonation” and “real understanding of the texts” (MusicWeb International). Their second disc, Alpha and Omega, the first complete recording of Holst’s Christmas works, was featured on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review.    **Godwine Choir Website

HILARY DAVAN WETTON – Musical Director of the City of London Choir since 1989, Hilary was conductor of the Guildford Choral Society from 1968-2008, Artistic Director of the Leicester Philharmonic Choir 2008-2018 and Founder Conductor of the Holst Singers from 1978-1993. He has worked with most of the major London orchestras as well as in Europe, Australia and the US. He was Principal Conductor of the Wren Orchestra of London for 10 years and Artistic Director of the Milton Keynes Orchestra from 1975 until 2008.   He is currently Associate Conductor of the London Mozart Players and Artistic Director of the Military Wives Choirs.

Hilary’s extensive discography includes award winning recordings of Holst’s Planets with the LPO, Beethoven’s Glorreiche Augenblick with the CLC and the RPO and Holst’s Evening Watch with the Holst Singers. With the MKCO, he made first recordings of neglected English Symphonies by Wesley, Sterndale Bennett and Cipriani Potter which are widely admired. His Naxos recording with the CLC, Flowers of the Field, was released on Remembrance Day 2014 and went straight to the top of the specialist Classical Chart. Hilary’s 2018 recording, Remember, released on Remembrance Day 2018, to celebrate the centenary of the Armistice, was also listed in the Classical Charts for several weeks.

Hilary has broadcast frequently for the BBC and Classic FM. For six years, he was presenter/conductor for Classic FM’s Masterclass, and he was Jo Brand’s organ teacher for the BBC 1 series, Play It Again. He has been awarded honorary degrees by the Open University and De Montfort University and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
**Conductors Website

MALCOLM HAWKINS graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to study at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, with Cesar Bresgen, where he won an international song competition Das Neue Lied with 4 Songs for Baritone, Saxophone and Piano. These and a solo piano work were broadcast on Austrian Radio, and his wind quintet was performed in Salzburg and Vienna.

He is a pianist and organist and formerly worked as a double-bass player. He has taught at the RAM, and various schools in England and the USA.

He received a fellowship to study at the Kodaly Institute in Hungary.

Diversions for Oboe Quartet (published by Keturi Verlag) was premiered by Simon Dent and the Heutling Quartet in Berlin and is recorded on the Amati label.

Broadcasts on BBC Radio Three include the Suite On Stage for piano duet (Stainer and Bell) Ghost Games for piano, Vanities (BBC Concert Orchestra ) Concerto for Oboe and Strings and Four Carols (E.C.SchirmerBBC Singers with Siobhan Williams (harp) and James Morgan)

Commissions have come from festivals including Lichfield, the Round Top Festival in Texas, for which he wrote Variations and Fugue for Piano and Orchestra, premiered and recorded by James Dick, the Hungarian Chamber Orchestra under Alberto Santana in Budapest, and various college choirs.

Barry Singer and the Arlington Chamber Choir commissioned the cantata Martha and Lazarus.

**Composers Website