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.
“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 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
“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
“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