The seventh book in the series of psalm variations by Paul Ritchie has been published by Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij in Holland and contains a set of eight variations for organ solo based on the Genevan psalm melody. Further details can be found by clicking here, and a YouTube recording by Leo Terlouw can be found by clicking here.
The VOGG (Association of Organists in Reformed Municipalities) commissioned Paul Ritchie to compose a set of organ variations over the Genevan Melody for Psalm 32. The resulting score comprises a Koraal and seven variations, and has been included in the 2020 VOGG annual publication ‘Psalm Bewerkingen Voor Orgel’. Further details can be found by clicking here, and a YouTube recording by Leo Terlouw can be found by clicking here.
Klavarskribo is a uniquely Dutch form of music notation invented in 1930 by Cornelis Pot (1885-1977). His aim was to make reading music easier for children and, whilst it was not an immediate success, it is now used by many pianists and organists, both in the Netherlands and beyond. All of Paul Ritchie’s organ variations on Genevan psalm melodies are now available in Klavarskribo notation. For more details, and to read about the history of Klavarskribo, click here.
American publisher GIA have included Paul Ritchie’s carol ‘Abraham, when severely tried’ in their Winter 2020 Choral Packet. Subscribers receive a selection of sheet music and a cd recording. More information is available by clicking on this link.
Dutch organist Leo Terlouw has recorded Paul Ritchie’s ‘Variaties over Psalm 75’ using the Hauptwerk sample set of the monumental Marcussen organ in the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam. The recording can by found by clicking on this link.
The VOGG is a foundation which provides training and support for organists in the Dutch Reformed Municipalities, and every year it publishes a volume of organ music based on Genevan psalm melodies. Each volume contains a range of music which can be played in services, and which provides material for both amateur and professional organists. Paul Ritchie has been invited to contribute variations based on Psalm 32, and is the first British organist to be so honoured.
Spiritoso Muziekuitgerverij has published Paul Ritchie’s ‘Variaties over Psalm 75’ for organ. The book contains eight variations on the Genevan melody for Psalm 75, and is the fourth volume of psalm variations published by Spiritoso. As with the previous volumes, the cover features a beautiful photograph of an historic Dutch organ – the Müller organ in Leeuwarden. Full details can be found by clicking on this link.
Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij have now published ‘Variaties over Psalm 65’. Sample pages can be viewed, and copies ordered from the Spiritoso website by clicking here.
Paul Ritchie has composed a new set of organ variations based on the Genevan psalm melody for Psalm 65. The music will be published by Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij in Holland. Meanwhile, organist Leo Terlouw has uploaded his performance of ‘Variaties over Psalm 65’ to YouTube. The recording can be accessed by clicking here.
Leo Terlouw has uploaded his performance of Variations upon ‘St Michael’ to YouTube. Paul Ritchie composed this set of organ variations in 2017 as a gift for Neil and Barbara Richerby, to celebrate the completion of their two manual and pedal house organ. The hymn tune ‘St Michael’ was composed by William Crotch (1775-1847) and is based on the Genevan psalm tune for Psalm 101. Leo Terlouw’s performance can be viewed by clicking here.
Paul Ritchie’s extended anthem based on Ralph Vaughan Williams’ famous hymn tune ‘Down Ampney’ was featured during the NPU Hymn Festival in February 2019. A YouTube recording of the event, which took place in the music department of North Park University, Chicago, can be viewed by clicking here. The massed choirs were directed by Tom Tropp and the organist was John W.W. Sherer. ‘Come down O love divine’ begins at 2:25 and runs until 7:57.
Leo Terlouw has gathered together all of his YouTube recordings of music by Paul Ritchie onto a single page on his own website. This page can be found by clicking here. New recordings will be added from time to time, including a set of variations over the hymn tune ‘St Michael’ which will be posted soon.
Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij has published a new book containing three sets of organ variations by Paul Ritchie based on well-known hymn tunes. In ‘Koraal en Variaties over Forty Days and Forty Nights’ the six variations reflect the words of the hymn. ‘Variaties over Bristol’ are based on the tune associated with ‘Hark! the glad sound, the saviour comes’, and ‘Variaties over Winchester New’ are based on the tune associated with both ‘Ride on, ride on in majesty’ and ‘On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry’. To visit Spiritoso click here.
Two new CDs have been added to the Recordings page. Rien Donkersloot’s recording of ‘Variaties over Psalm 146’ is included on his CD of the Verschueren organ in the Lambertus Kerk, Wouw, in the Netherlands, and Alex Woodrow’s second recording of ‘Partita on Stuttgart’ is included on the CD recorded by the choirs and organists of Solihull School.
Leo Terlouw has recorded Paul Ritchie’s ‘Chorale and Variations on Forty Days and Forty Nights’ for YouTube using the Görlitz Sonnenorgel sample set. This music will be published by Spiritoso in a volume which also contains the variations on ‘Bristol’ and ‘Winchester New’. Click here to visit YouTube.
GIA have published ‘Abraham, when severely tried’, a setting of words by Charles Wesley in the form of a carol scored for unaccompanied SATB choir. The text is particularly suitable for pairing with the second lesson during a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and is also suitable for services during Lent, or the Easter Vigil. Click here to visit GIA.
The distinguished Dutch organist Leo Terlouw has recorded Paul Ritchie’s ‘Partita on Stuttgart’ for YouTube using the Hauptwerk sample set of the Marcussen organ in the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam. Click here to visit YouTube
Klavarskribo is form of music notion which is much used in Holland, especially among organists and pianists. Paul Ritchie’s two volumes of organ variations based on Genevan psalm tunes are now available in Klavarskribo notation. Further details regarding Klavarskribo can be found by clicking on this link, and a separate window showing the two volumes can be opened by clicking on ‘Nieuwe bladmuziek per 24 Juli 2018’ and scrolling down.
Paul Ritchie’s setting of ‘Come down O love divine’, a large scale choral anthem based on the famous hymn tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams, is to be included in GIA’s Choral Reading Sessions this summer, details of which can be found by clicking on this link. Further details regarding the music can be found by clicking on this link.
GIA have included the anthem ‘Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go’ in their Spring 2018 Choral Packet which is distributed to subscribers. The packet includes a copy of the sheet music and a CD recording by their house choir. Full details including sample pages can be found by clicking on this link.
The Dutch publisher Proza Musica has published seven anthems by Paul Ritchie, all of which are available separately or as a collection in a single volume. The collection contains: Almighty God, in whom we live (SATB), Come, bless the Lord (SATB), Come, let us join our cheerful songs (SA Men/Organ), Teach me thy way, O Lord (SATB/Organ), The Lord’s my shepherd (SATB/Organ), Not unto us, O Lord (SA Men/Organ), and We gather together (SATB/Organ). The items which have organ accompaniment are also available with separate choir parts. Sample pages can be viewed by clicking on this link.
Proza Musica is a Dutch company which specialises in music for church choirs, and Paul Ritchie has signed an agreement to provide new music, much of which will be published in English and Dutch versions. Four titles are currently available: ‘Come, let us join our cheerful songs’ and ‘Not unto us O Lord’ are new anthems scored for S.A.Men / Organ, ‘We gather together’ for S.A.Men / Organ and ‘Teach me thy way, O Lord’ for S.A.T.B / Organ are arrangements of hymns which are popular in Holland, and are both available in English and Dutch versions. For direct access to Proza Musica and Paul Ritchie’s home page click on this link.
The organ Partitas over Psalms 124 and 136, and the organ Variaties over Psalms 101 and 146 have been published in two volumes by Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij. Psalmen Deel 1 contains the Partitas over Psalms 124 and 136, and Psalm 124 has been transposed down to F major to make it compatible with the Dutch psalm book. Psalmen Deel 2 contains the Variaties over Psalms 101 and 146. Both volumes are available direct from the publisher if you live in mainland Europe, or from the composer if you live in the UK.
A new set of organ variations by Paul Ritchie based on the Genevan psalm tune for Psalm 146 is the subject of the most recent YouTube recording by Leo Terlouw. It can be viewed by clicking on this link.
‘Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go’, a new anthem by Paul Ritchie has been released for sale by GIA. This setting of words by Charles Wesley is scored for SATB choir and Organ, and with the option to include the congregation. For more information please click on this link.
‘Variaties over Psalm 101’ is a new set of variations by Paul Ritchie based on a Genevan psalm tune and was written for the distinguished Dutch organist Leo Terlouw and his wife Henny. A YouTube recording by Leo Terlouw can be viewed by clicking on this link – Psalm 101.
Paul Ritchie has donated a collection of original psalm chants composed during his twenty four years as Organist & Choirmaster at St George’s Church, Cullercoats, to The National Archive of Anglican Chants administered by Peter W. J. Kirk. The archive website is currently under construction and can be accessed by clicking on this link.
Leo Terlouw has uploaded his performance of Paul Ritchie’s organ Partita on ‘Bristol’ to the YouTube website. Leo uses a Hauptwerk sample set of the famous Müller / Marcussen organ in the Bavokerk in Haarlem, and the video can be found by clicking on this link.
GIA have accepted ‘Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go’ for publication. This new setting of Charles Wesley’s words is scored for SATB choir and Organ, and is in the form of a hymn-anthem based on an original composition by Paul Ritchie. Each verse is preceded by an organ introduction, and the final verse includes a descant.
‘Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen’ will feature in an organ recital to be given on Saturday October 15th at 7pm by Paul Ritchie on the Church & Company organ which he helped to build and install in the Martin Luther Kirche, Copland Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1974. The programme will include music by W.F.Bach, J.S.Bach, Krebs, Schneider, Robert & Clara Schumann, Mendelssohn, Harris, Whitlock, and Koomans, and will include Roger Wibberley’s setting of ‘Alle menschen müssen sterben’ which can also be found on the Orgelbüchlein Project website.
‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’ was given its first performance by the Great Choir of Derby Cathedral and Derventio Brass on Sunday 12th June under the direction of Hugh Morris. The anthem is based on a hymn tune specially composed by Paul Ritchie to fit the 10 11 11 11 metre. This tune is now available as a free download in two versions with the kind permission of Mrs J. Tyrrell who holds the copyright for the words. ‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’ can be downloaded by clicking on Derby Hymn:1, and ‘Lord of creation, to you be all praise’ by clicking on Derby Hymn:2.
A new recording by Peter Mende of Paul Ritchie’s choral prelude on ‘Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen und Wehklagen’ can be heard by clicking on this link. Recordings of the Partitas on Psalms 124 and 136, and the hymn tune ‘Stuttgart’, can also be found on the same site by clicking on Uploads (24).
In the Orgelbüchlein Bach set out to compose a prelude based on each of the 164 chorales then in common use. Each page of the manuscript was inscribed with the title of a chorale but only 46 were completed. The Orgelbüchlein Project aims to fill the gaps by providing preludes based on the remaining chorales; some have been commissioned, and others have been submitted. Paul Ritchie’s setting of ‘Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen’ has been added to the collection and may be downloaded for free by clicking on this link, scrolling down to number 105, and clicking on the name Paul Ritchie in brown type.
Paul Ritchie has completed a commission from Hugh Morris, Director of Music at Derby Cathedral, to compose an anthem to be sung at a Civic Service on June 12th in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Cathedral authorities expressed a desire that the anthem could also be made more widely available across the Diocese, and that it should therefore be of an appropriate stature for a Civic Service, but available in a simpler form for Parish Church use.
The new anthem is a setting of words by Jack C. Winslow (1882-1974), ‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’, and is scored for SATB choir, organ, and a brass quintet comprising two trumpets, French horn, and two trombones, but can also be sung by as a hymn with organ or keyboard accompaniment.
Three times a year GIA issue a Choral Subscription pack containing sample copies of 30 new pieces along with CD recordings, and they make an excellent way to discover a world of new repertoire. The Spring 2016 pack includes a copy of Paul Ritchie’s anthem ‘As the deer’, and a recording is also featured on the CD. Details of the GIA subscription service can be found by clicking on this link.
The Choir of St. Mark’s Church, Bilton in Warwickshire, sang a revised version of Paul Ritchie’s anthem ‘Revive in us, O Lord’ at a service of Choral Evensong to celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist on Sunday 24th April under the direction of David Noble.
Scored for SATB choir and Organ, the anthem has a text which is applicable to the celebration of any saint’s day, and the music can be adapted to name almost any saint. Enquiries are welcome through the website Contact page.
Leo Terlouw (Papendrecht, NL) has recorded Paul Ritchie’s new Partita on ‘Winchester New’ using a Hauptwerk sample set of the famous Müller / Marcussen organ in the Bavokerk, Haarlem, and uploaded it to YouTube. The recording can be seen by clicking on this link. ‘Winchester New’ is suitable for Advent (On Jordan’s bank the baptist’s cry), and Palm Sunday (Ride on, ride on in majesty). Enquiries are welcome through the Contact page on this website.
RSCM North & East Yorkshire are hosting a Workshop for Singers on Saturday 16th April in St Peter’s Church, Redcar, TS10 3JL, from 2pm until 5pm. The workshop will provide an opportunity to sing through some of Paul Ritchie’s music under the direction of the composer. Choirs and individual singers are equally welcome, and the contact for further information is Michael Ash. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Ritchie has composed a new setting of the Order One Common Worship texts, and the ‘Mass of St Barnabas’ will receive its first performance during the Ripon & Leeds Area Choir Festival on St Barnabas Day 2016. Copies cost £3 plus p&p, and can be ordered direct from the composer by using the Contact page on this website.
Members of the Bristol and District Organists’ Association met at the church of All Saints Clifton on the evening of Wednesday 25th November to play the recently restored J.W.Walker organ, and to share their ideas about new and unfamiliar repertoire. Among the players was Sue Gregory who gave the first public performance of a Partita on ‘Bristol’ specially composed for her by Paul Ritchie. The Partita is a set of six variations in baroque style based on the hymn tune ‘Bristol’ which is usually sung during Advent to the hymn ‘Hark the glad sound, the Saviour comes’.
On Sunday 25th October the Parish Church of St Cuthbert, Norham, Northumberland celebrated its 850th anniversary with a service of Holy Communion during which the choir, directed by Patricia Bonia and accompanied by Julian Bonia, gave the first performance of ‘A Place Prepared’. The anthem, with words selected from scripture by Carole Caddick and music by Paul Ritchie, was specially commissioned for this service and reflects on the life of a church which has seen more than its fair share of conflict over the centuries.
Copies of ‘Come, adore this wondrous presence’ are now available from RSCM Direct by clicking on this link. The anthem will be sung during the June 2016 RSCM Ripon & Leeds Choir Festival for St Barnabas Day along with a new setting by Paul Ritchie of the Common Worship Order One eucharistic texts. Copies of the Mass of St Barnabas will be made available to order direct from the composer in due course.
GIA have published Paul Ritchie’s anthem based on Ralph Vaughan Williams hymn tune ‘Down Ampney’. The anthem begins and ends with a choral fanfare based on a traditional African prayer invoking the Holy Spirit, and with the verses of ‘Come down, O love divine’ as the central section. Verse 1: unison voices and organ, Verse 2: SATB fauxbourdon with the melody in the bass line, Verse 3: SATB unaccompanied, Verse 4: unison voices with descant and alternative organ harmonies. It is intended that the congregation shall take an active part in singing this anthem, but be aware that the words are not exactly the same as those found in most UK hymn books, so printed word sheets may be required. To view sample pages click on this link or on the title above.
GIA held a series of Reading Sessions during the summer at which several new pieces from their extensive catalogue of choral music were introduced, including Paul Ritchie’s setting of the American hymn ‘Christ for the world we sing’. To see a video of one of the Reading Sessions click on this link, and to hear the assembled singers sight-reading ‘Christ for the world we sing’ scroll along to 6:22