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John Rutter (b.1945)

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Rutter - Christmas Music

Rutter - Christmas Music


Gruber, F:

Silent Night

(arr. Rutter)

Kirkpatrick:

Away in a Manger

(arr. Rutter)

Niles:

I wonder as I wander

(arr. Rutter)

Rutter:

Shepherd's Pipe Carol

Nativity Carol

There is a Flower

What Sweeter Music

Jesus Child

Wild Wood Carol

The very best time of year

Angel Tidings

Christmas Lullaby

Dormi, Jesu

Love came down at Christmas

Star Carol

Carol of the Children

Mary's Lullaby

Angels' Carol

Candlelight Carol

Second Amen

Donkey Carol

trad.:

Sans Day Carol

(arr. Rutter)


“You either love or hate Rutter's Christmas music, but for me, Christmas is John Rutter. Complete with sublime melodies, choir-friendly textures and just the right amount of frivolity, this disc is as good as it gets.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2007

“Rutter's writing is notable not only for its tunefulness and winning use of choral textures, but also for his always engaging orchestrations.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Hyperion Carols - CDA67245

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Rutter: Gloria, Magnificat & Te Deum

Rutter: Gloria, Magnificat & Te Deum


Rutter:

Gloria

Magnificat

Te Deum


Elizabeth Cragg (soprano) & Tom Winpenny (organ)

The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral & Ensemble DeChorum, Andrew Lucas

A welcome new addition to the English Choral Music series on Naxos, and a glorious follow-up to the two best-selling Rutter titles in the catalogue - Requiem and Mass of the Children.

The three works heard on this disc span a period of fifteen years from 1974-1990. John Rutter’s Gloria was a milestone in his career as it was the first major commission he had received from overseas, and sowed the seeds of his popularity in America. It remains an evergreen favourite with choirs worldwide for its freshness, drama and sheer beauty.

The joyous setting of the Magnificat was conceived, in the composer’s words, as ‘a bright Latin-flavoured fiesta’ and is performed here in its version for choir, organ and chamber orchestra. This delightful choral album concludes with Rutter’s setting of the Te Deum, one of the church’s most ebullient hymns of praise to the Almighty.

The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral, conducted by Andrew Lucas are on fine form in this their first recording for Naxos. “The sound of the choir is full and colourful throughout and the boys produce a very fine sound indeed matching their well-developed sound with mature musicianship” The Organ

“His festive settings of the Gloria, Magnificat and Te Deum were written over the period 1974-1990. These vivid performances show how thoroughly Rutter can absorb them and make music of exhilarating impact.” The Telegraph, 14th April 2011 ****

“I love the confident swagger and tonal punch of the St Albans trebles, with boys and girls united for this uplifting recording, and the wholehearted commitment of the Hertfordshire cathedral's adult voices...The conductor generally allows Rutter's melodies to breathe and, above all, passionately communicates his interpretations.” Classic FM Magazine, June 2011 ****

“the boys and girls of the combined St Albans choirs disport themselves royally in this recording, pinning the tricksy syncopations of the concluding movement [of the Gloria] deftly, and relishing their high notes at the soaring conclusion...overall this is a notably fresh, uplifting account of what remains one of Rutter's most popular and widely sung creations.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 ****

“this is one of the most attractive Rutter collections yet...The performances here are quite splendid in every respect, with moving solo singing, a dedicated choral contribution, and excellent support from the Ensemble DeChorum and Tom Winpenny (organ) admirably directed by Andrew Lucas.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Naxos - 8572653

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Rutter: Gloria I, II & III, etc.

Rutter:

Gloria I, II & III

Come down, O Love divine

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace

To everything there is a season

I my Best-Beloved's am

Praise the Lord, O my soul

I will lift up mine eyes

As the bridegroom to his chosen

A Clare Benediction

The Lord is my light and my salvation

Go forth into the world

Thy perfect love

Te Deum


'Delicious performances of Rutter’s wonderfully approachable and finely crafted vocal writing. The sound, too, is outstanding' (Gramophone)

“This superb disc contains a balanced cross- section of Rutter's sacred choral music, spanning over a quarter century and featuring several first recordings. Rutter's stylistic hallmarks are all here: an unfailing knack to get to the root of the text, exquisitely balanced vocal writing, melting harmonies, intensely sweet turns of phrase, short ecstatic climaxes, but also a willingness to be astringent, and rhythmically powerful. There are nods to pageantry, for example in the conclusion of the Gloria with its Waltonian swagger, some decliously echt Sullivan at the end of the Te Deum and, in I my Best-beloved's am, an occasional vision of the neo-Byzantine soundworld of his fellow Highgate School pupil, John Tavener.
The artistry of the 25 full-bodied voices of Polyphony is beyond reproach, only suffering a deficit in sheer volume when pitted against the full fury of The Wallace Collection. Sumptuously recorded, all the forces involved play to perfection. Greatly enjoyable.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2001

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Hyperion - CDA67259

(CD)

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Rutter: Mass of the Children, etc.

Rutter:

Mass of the Children

Wedding Canticle

Shadows


Angharad Gruffydd-Jones (soprano) & Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone)

Choir of Clare College Cambridge, Timothy Brown

“Choirs love to sing Rutter's music, audiences love to hear it and, if reviewers are lukewarm, the record/ticket-buying public compensates with effective demonstrations of its enthusiasm.
Rutter believes the seed of the Mass, premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2003, was planted when, as a member of the Highgate School choir, he performed on the original 1963 recording of Britten's War Requiem. This inspiration is nowhere more clear than in the introduction to the Gloria, which recalls Britten's use of brass, woodwind and percussion.
Rutter re-imagines Britten's brilliant juxtaposition of adult and children's voices in a joyful context. Like his model, he mixes Latin liturgy with poetry: here, the texts include poems by Archbishop Ken and William Blake. The Kyrie opens vividly with a sunny, breezy setting of Ken's 'Awake my soul', the Domine Deus begins effectively with a bassoon ostinato against mysterious long notes, but his openings often raise expectations which, for me, are seldom fulfilled.
The Sanctus evokes Fauré at best, Lloyd Webber at worst, and early in the Agnus Dei some phrases, startlingly, recall Penderecki's St Luke Passion.
But fear not, this is mostly unmistakably Rutter.
The shades of Britten and Pears hover over Shadows (1979), a cycle of pleasant settings of 16th- and 17th-century poems, paying tribute to the lute-song tradition. The Wedding Canticle is sweet, airy and graceful. Rutter's many fans will not be disappointed.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Naxos - 8557922

(CD)

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Rutter: Psalmfest

Rutter: Psalmfest


Rutter:

Psalm 150

Tom Winpenny (organ)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Lord, thou hast been our refuge

Mike Allen (trumpet), Tom Winpenny (organ)

This is the day which the Lord hath made

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, St Albans Cathedral Choir and Abbey Girls Choir

Psalmfest

World Première Recording

Elizabeth Cragg (soprano), Pascal Charbonneau (tenor)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, St Albans Cathedral Choir and Abbey Girls Choir


The psalms of David have been a source of inspiration to composers for centuries, each text forming a poetic shape the equivalent of a gothic arch, and expressing a broad range of timeless emotions. Recorded here for the first time in its complete form, John Rutter’s Psalmfest is a collection of nine settings for full orchestra as rich and varied as the original texts. The remaining psalm settings were written for special occasions, including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

Key Features:

We have had numerous successes with the work of John Rutter, including his Gloria (8572653) performed by almost exactly the same musical team as this première of the Psalmfest. Of the Gloria, Gramophone wrote that “Andrew Lucas’s St Albans choristers (particularly the girls and boys, united on the top line) are on sparkling form, with first-class support from organist Tom Winpenny and the Ensemble DeChorum who scrupulously adhere to every one of the score’s markings. More recordings from St Albans, please.” Added to this, ClassicsToday.com considered it “a terrific performance… solid and recommendable…”

Gramophone acknowledges Rutter as “the man who has become the most popular British composer of choral music in recent years.”

Topped by a first class line-up of award-winning soloists and reinforced by the excellent Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, this release will be one of the main jewels in our choral and general catalogue for 2016.

Andrew Lucas has been Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral and Music Director of St Albans Bach Choir since 1998, and was Artistic Director of the St Albans International Organ Festival from 1999 to 2007. Born in 1958, he studied at the Royal College of Music with John Birch and Herbert Howells and later with Peter Hurford and Piet Kee. Before 1998 he was Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, London and a freelance musician, conductor, chorusmaster and keyboard continuo. He has made many recordings as an organist from St Paul’s and conducting at St Albans and has played concerts throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. This is his fourth recording for Naxos, the first as organ soloist (8550955) and the others conducting music by Rutter (8572653) and Mozart (8573092).

“‘O be joyful in the Lord’ sets the tone: the bright, chattering orchestration and chirpy syncopations are quintessential Rutter, and the rousingly fresh-toned response of the St Albans singers lifts the music vibrantly…[Rutter completists] are fortunate the job has been so professionally executed by the St Albans forces, and that the sound is warmly atmospheric” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 ****

“The excellent singing of the St Albans Cathedral choirs combines brightness of sound with crystal-clear diction. The two soloists are also very good…[and] are well matched by the brilliant executed accompaniments of the RPO, whose splendid playing highlights Rutter’s colourful and glittering orchestration” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

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Naxos - 8573394

(CD)

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Rutter: Requiem

Rutter: Requiem

and other choral works


Rutter:

Requiem

with Rosa Mannion (soprano)

Hymn to the Creator of Light

God be in my head

A Gaelic blessing

Cantate Domino

Open Thou Mine Eyes

A prayer of Saint Patrick

A choral fanfare

Draw on, sweet night for choir

My true love hath my heart for choir

The Lord bless you and keep you


“Here is music finely crafted, written with love for the art and an especial care for choral sound” Gramophone Magazine

“A radiant richness of sound” Penguin Guide

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Hyperion 30th Anniversary - CDA30017

(CD)

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Rutter: Requiem and other choral works

Rutter: Requiem and other choral works


Rutter:

Requiem

with ROSA MANNION soprano

Hymn to the Creator of Light

God be in my head

A Gaelic blessing

Cantate Domino

No 5 from Psalmfest

Open Thou Mine Eyes

A prayer of Saint Patrick

A choral fanfare

Draw on, sweet night for choir

No 2 from Birthday madrigals

My true love hath my heart for choir

No 4 from Birthday madrigals

The Lord bless you and keep you


“Here is music finely crafted, written with love for the art and an especial care for choral sound.
It's melodious without being commonplace, harmonically rich without being sticky, modern in the graceful way of a child who grows up responsive to newness but not wanting to kick his elders in the teeth. He gives us the heart's desire. But he's on too familiar terms with our heart's desires, he doesn't extend them, or surprise us into realising that they were deeper and subtler than we thought. This is by way of cautiously savouring a remembered taste, which could readily be indulged without perceived need for an interval: one item leads to another and before we know it the pleasurable hour is over. The Requiem is the longest work; the other pieces vary from two to just over six minutes.
Most are unaccompanied and show the choir of 25 voices as another of those expert groups of assured and gifted professionals that are among the principal adornments of modern musical life. Their capacity as a virtuoso choir is tested in the Cantate Domino and Choral Fanfare, but Rutter writes for real singers (not just singer-musicians) and their tone is unfailingly beautiful. The two soloists are excellent.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion - CDA66947

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Rutter: The Tewkesbury Collection

Rutter: The Tewkesbury Collection


Rutter:

Lord, thou hast been our refuge

Dormi, Jesu

This is the day which the Lord hath made

Carol of the Magi

As the bridegroom to his chosen

The Lord is my shepherd

Ave Maria

The Lord bless you and keep you

A prayer of Saint Patrick

Hymn to the Creator of Light

Wells Jubilate

God be in my head

The Gift of Charity

There is a flower

A Choral Amen


For his final recording with the men and boys of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, Benjamin Nicholas has chosen to celebrate Britain’s best-loved living composer, John Rutter. Rather than simply sticking to familiar classics, this programme explores the full range of the composer’s output from 'The Lord is my shepherd' and 'Lord, thou hast been our refuge' to his most recent piece 'This is the day', written for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Rutter’s rare communicative gifts are given a special glow by the refulgent acoustic of Tewkesbury Abbey and the choir’s luminous singing.

“Rutter’s music has that magical uniqueness about it in being able to straddle the school of light lyrical touch with that of musical sophistication and integrity. Sure enough, it inspires beautifully scented performances from the boys and men ... augmented variously by gorgeous solo contributions on oboe, cello and trumpet, and from organist Carleton Etherington” The Scotsman, August 2012

“The cherubs of Tewkesbury Abbey sing with devotion, faithfully capturing Rutter’s particular brand of luxury comfort” Time Out, August 2012

“this disc must command our attention. The Tewkesbury Singers produce a well-focused tone throughout … Special attention ought to be made of Carleton Etherington’s sensitive support on the organ. Excellent liner notes and full texts” Choir & Organ, November/December 2012

“Even when Rutter's very obviously in crowd-pleasing mode...the vernal freshness of the Tewkesbury boys' voices strips off the cloying patina more knowing, self-conscious adult voices often add in this music. There's plenty of technical control in the choir's singing, but it's not imposed with undue rigour.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012 ****

“This CD is a valuable addition to the John Rutter discography and shows that the composer is more than simply 'Mr Christmas'...I can imagine the composer being well satisfied with the highly accomplished performances...The trebles have a rich, uninhibited tone and the whole choir are masters of sustained, seamless legato singing. Director Benjamin Nicholas favours flowing tempi and he achieves an excellent balance between all voices.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

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Delphian - DCD34107

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A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey

A Christmas Caroll from Westminster Abbey


Chilcott:

Shepherd's Carol

Dove:

The three Kings

Gruber, F:

Silent Night

Arranged by Christopher Bowers-Broadbent

Head, M:

The Little Road to Bethlehem

Lavino:

Nativity

Leighton:

A Christmas Carol, Op. 21

Mathias:

Ave Rex, Op. 45

Pearsall:

In dulci jubilo

Poulenc:

Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël

Rutter:

Dormi, Jesu

trad.:

Joys Seven

Arranged by Stephen Cleobury

I saw three ships

Arranged by James O’Donnell

Walton:

All this time


The first of this month’s ‘double bill’ from Westminster presents a delightful and unusual selection of music for Christmas from the Abbey Choir. It encompasses all the diverse themes of Christmas which have inspired composers across the ages: light shining in darkness; the tenderness of mother and child; the fulfilment of promise; and the warm merriment of corporate celebration.

An excellent selection of contemporary carols features the composers Jonathan Dove and Bob Chilcott among others. The richness of twentieth-century church music is illustrated in works by Poulenc, Walton, Mathias and Leighton, and by the heartbreakingly lovely piece The little road to Bethlehem by Michael Head. Skilful arrangements of the traditional carols Silent night, In dulci jubilo and I saw three ships, complete this attractive seasonal release.

“An ambitious and superbly sung programme, sympathetically framed within the choir's spaciously atmospheric home acoustic.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****

“The Christmas Eve carol service at Westminster Abbey is one of the most warming events in the festive calendar, and this CD captures the atmosphere beautifully … The singing is a constant delight” The Telegraph

Presto Disc of the Week

8th December 2008

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Hyperion - CDA67716

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A Gaelic Blessing

A Gaelic Blessing


Bainton, E:

And I saw a new heaven

Brahms:

Geistliches Lied, Op. 30

Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (from Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45)

Burgon:

Nunc dimittis

Finzi:

My lovely one, Op. 27 No. 1

Franck, C:

Panis Angelicus

Goodenough, D:

I Will Sing With the Spirit

Henschel:

Tantum Ergo

Holst:

Nunc dimittis, H127

Jackson, F:

Father Eternal

Mawby:

Ave verum corpus

Mozart:

Ave verum corpus, K618

Owens, M:

Holy Trinity Blessing

Pärt:

De profundis

Rutter:

A Gaelic blessing

Tavener:

Song for Athene

Wesley, S S:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace


The first in a series of recordings with Matthew Owens and the Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh (see this page and p. 45). Familiar sacred works and new choral music grace this release, which includes works by Franck, Brahms, Pärt, Finzi, Holst, Tavener, Mozart, Henschel and Wesley, some of them in world premiere recordings.

Best-loved sacred works and new choral music graces this stellar release from St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh led by Matthew Owens. Includes works by Franck, Brahms, Pärt, Finzi, Holst, Tavener, Mozart, Henschel, and Wesley.

“This recording is a real gem…the performance is always delicate but nonetheless abounding in richness” Choir & Organ

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Delphian - DCD34007

(CD)

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