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John Rutter

Director

John Rutter

John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and received his first musical education as a chorister at Highgate School. He went on to study music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student.

His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children's operas, music for television, and specialist writing for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the King's Singers. His most recent larger choral works, Requiem (1985), Magnificat (1990) and Psalmfest (1993) have been performed many times in Britain, North America, and a growing number of other countries. He co-edited four volumes in the Carols for Choirs series with Sir David Willcocks, and, more recently, has edited the first two volumes in the new Oxford Choral Classics series, Opera Choruses (1995) and European Sacred Music (1996).

From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College, whose choir he directed in a number of broadcasts and recordings. After giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition, he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time between composition and conducting. He has guest-conducted or lectured at many concert halls, universities, churches, music festivals, and conferences in Europe, Scandinavia, North America and Australasia. In 1980 he was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996 the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music.

In 1984 Rutter formed his own record label, Collegium, in the hopes of bringing choral music to a wider audience through performances of the highest possible quality. "I just wanted a vehicle for the Cambridge Singers," he says, "and a way of recording the music I wanted, when I wanted, with whom I wanted, in the buildings I wanted, with the engineers and the producers that I wanted." Collegium has achieved great success and wide acclaim over the years. "There was a much larger audience worldwide for the sort of music we were recording than we had ever known. It's really, really heartening, because it shows that choral music is much closer to the center of people's affections than is often suspected." In addition to showcasing Rutter's own work, including his beautiful Requiem (1998), Collegium CDs feature a wealth of traditional and sacred music.

A healthy amount of the repertoire released on the Collegium label has to do with Christmas. When asked about his feelings on the holiday, Rutter replies, "For me, first and foremost, Christmas is happy memories of the way it was celebrated when I was a kid. As everyone would probably say, it revolves around the family and gatherings. But it also revolves around my school chapel. I was at a school in north London that happened to have a chapel with a fine choir. And our Christmas carol service was the high point of our singing year. So I actually developed a love of the whole music of Christmas, along with the message of Christmas, from when I was a kid. With music, your Christmas can always be perfect. With real-Iife Christmas, there's always something that's going to go a bit wrong. You're hoping it's going to snow on Christmas day, but it doesn't. Or your turkey smells absolutely gorgeous, but it turns out that it's a bit burned when you come to eat it. But the music of Christmas is always perfect, and so I love to remember and celebrate Christmas in music and song."

Discography

Displaying 1-50 of 53 items.


Bach Choir : Colors of Christmas - John Rutter

Review: John Rutter conducts the Bach Choir and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in what is surely the finest new recoding of Christmas carols this year. Rutter is a composer, conductor and arranger and he brings all of that to these high holiday gems. Most of the carols are very well known, though in the arrangements of Rutter they sound completely fresh. There are some new carols here - Rutter's own 'Riu Riu Chiu' (the sounds a nightingale makes) and 'The Colours of Christmas' - and some new approaches to old ones. The main factor that makes this such a perfect selection of holiday music is the free intermixing of religious carols with contemporary Christmas songs.

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2059 00 1 CD $17.95 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : A Cappella

Review: In the first paragraph of the 32-page liner notes to "A Cappella" we learn that "a cappella," translated from the Italian, means "in the style of the chapel," probably a reference to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, where a tradition of unaccompanied singing has gone on since the Renaissance. Although the meaning of the term has since expanded to include unaccompanied secular music, it's clear that the Cambridge Singers hold to the original meaning, as none of the music on this CD would sound out of place under the Sistine's famous ceiling. Directed by the renowned John Rutter, the CS bring us the finest sacred music, first 11 songs from England and Germany, then 14 songs from France, all written in the 19th and 20th centuries. We have Britten's "Hymn to St. Cecilia," four songs from Brahms' "Vier Lieder aus dem Jungbrunnen," five songs from Schuman's "Vier doppelchorige Gesange, Op. 141," R.L. Pearsall's "Lay a Garland," Frederick Delius' "The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls," Ravel's "Trois Chansons," Debussy's "Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orleans," and eight songs from "Chansons Francaises." As most of the lyrics are in German or French, it's nice to have the extensive liner notes with all the words and translations. Beautiful music, angelically sung!

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7122 00 1 CD $12.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : A Christmas Festival

Review: The first all-new Christmas recording from John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers for almost 20 years. John Rutter directs the Cambridge Singers, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the award-winning Farnham Youth Choir alongside guest soloists Melanie Marshall, Clara Sanabras and Elin Manahan Thomas, for an unforgettable festival of Christmas music.

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8943 00 1 CD $16.95 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : A Song In Season

Review: Song In Season is a major collection of new choral music by John Rutter, featuring a host of previously unrecorded works in glittering performances by the Cambridge Singers and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by the composer, John Rutter: A Song in Season ranges across the church's year, incorporating music for Christmas, Epiphany, Pentecost, Easter and Harvest. The first album of new anthems and canticles by Rutter since his landmark 2002 recording of the Mass of the Children, this beautifully-packaged release promises to delight both seasoned Rutter followers and new listeners.

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2367 00 1 CD $15.95 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Be Thou My Vision

Review: 21 favorite Rutter anthems, taken from classic Cambridge recordings. The talented, prolific (29 excellent CDs in the Primarily A Cappella catalog) 33-strong, mixed-voice Cambridge Singers were founded by John Rutter after he gave up his position as Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge in 1979, to allow himself more time for composition. Here are 21 of Rutter's finest Christian anthems, culled from the many fine recordings by the Singers. The title tune, "Open thou mine eyes," the lovely "Wings of the morning," the triumphant "O be joyful in the Lord," "All things bright and beautiful," "As the bridegroom to his chosen," the soaring "Loving Shepherd of thy sheep," "O clap your hands," "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace," "God be in my head," "Thy perfect love" - these are all joyful, positive songs of worship and celebration, the best of everything we love about John Rutter and his Singers. Some accompaniment. "Be Thou My Vision" is a winning, inspirational collection!

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7508 00 1 CD $12.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Review: A ruined English abbey silhouetted against a setting sun and a rising full moon graces the cover of "Brother Sun, Sister Moon." The extensive liner notes point out how much more in touch with the natural rhythms of day and night were the builders of the abbey, and the writers of the sacred Christian music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, in comparison to life in the 21st century. John Rutter directs the 30-member Cambridge Singers in Gregorian chants and polyphonic sacred music by such composers as William Byrd, John Taverner, Palestrina, Scheidt, Sheppard, Durufle and Robert Whyte, divided into two groups: "Music of the Morning Rite" and "Music of the Evening Rite." Meditative and uplifting!

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7103 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Byrd: Motets and Anthems

Review: This recording presents a selection of fifteen of the 150 or so Latin motets and three of the dozens of English anthems that, between them, form the greater part of the life's work of William Byrd (1543-1623), the greatest English composer of his era. The chosen motets and anthems represent just some of the many facets of Byrd's sacred music, now recognized after three centuries of neglect as among the most glorious every written for choir.

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6999 00 1 CD $11.98 Early Music CDs


Cambridge Singers : Candlelight

Review: "The aim of this recording is to evoke a sense of the winter season, as reflected in some of the infinitely varied music inspired by it. Christmas inevitably lies at the heart of this wonderful melange of scared and secular, spiritual and convivial, poetic and earthy." - John Rutter. A compilation of tracks from 1982 thru 2003, mostly recorded in the Great Hall of University College School, London where the exquisite acoustics showcases the voices of the choir to perfection. A most enjoyable Christmas collection indeed!

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8692 00 1 CD $15.95 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : Christmas Night, Carols of the Nativity

Review: The incomparable Cambridge Singers bring us 22 carols, old and new: In dulci jubilo, Adam lay ybounden, Christmas Night, Once, as I Remember, A spotless Rose, In the Bleak Mid-winter, There is a Flower, The Cherry Tree Carol, I Wonder as I Wander, Candlelight Carol, O Tannenbaum, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, A Virgin Most Pure, I Sing of a Maiden, Lute-Book Lullaby, Ballet, The Three Kings, Myn Lyking, O Little One Sweet, etc.

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6654 00 1 CD $15.98 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : Christmas Star

Review: Recorded in 1981 shortly after the Cambridge Singers formation, "Christmas Star" then quickly disappeared, as the master tapes were lost. However, the original digital version was found in 1996. Therefore, the Cambridge Singers first Christmas release can once again be heard. Directed by John Rutter, whose standard of taste and excellence is of legendary repute, this multivoice classical ensemble has a pure and weightless tone and broad dynamic range, from pianissimo to forte. With arrangements also by Rutter, the carols are mostly familiar, such as "I Wander As I Wander," "Ding Dong! Merrily On High" and "What Child Is This," but there are a few rarities: "O Little One Sweet," and "Twas In The Moon Of Wintertime."

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7125 00 1 CD $15.98 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : Collection

Review: The programme of music on this album is chosen from eight Collegium recordings, illustrating something of the range and scope of the choir's work, which is deliberately not restricted to any one period or style. Sacred and secular, historic and contemporary, a cappella and accompanied music have all found a place in the Cambridge Singers' growing discography, and several recordings feature music by John Rutter. Guest artists the King's Singers join forces with narrator Richard Baker and the City of London Sinfonia under the baton of Richard Hickox for an extract from John Rutter's musical fable based on The Wind in the Willows, which has been performed at many King's Singers concerts; and the City of London Sinfonia are heard on their own in the Waltz movement from another Rutter piece, the Suite Antique for flute, harpsichord and strings.

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7026 00 1 CD $11.98


Cambridge Singers : Faire Is The Heaven

Review: The 28 mixed young voices of the Cambridge Singers bring us a remastered recording (originally recorded in 1982) of unaccompanied English church music from the 16th to 20th centuries, designed to be sung in a building with acoustics that allow its characteristic sonority to be heard in its full splendor-in this case the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, built in 1350. There are 23 motets and anthems here, from 4 periods in history, "Music of the Latin Rite," "Music of the Reformation," "Music of the Restoration" and "The Anglican Revival and the 20th century." Extensive, complete liner notes. Acclaimed director John Rutter was not sure if the marvelous sound of the Singers in the Chapel could be reproduced, but was gratified to find that it could. Marvelous soaring, angelic sacred music from an unequaled, ancient acoustic!

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6671 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Fancies

Review: The 'fancies' that give this album its title are the fleeting ideas, dreams and whims that flit like Will-o'-the-wisps through the imagination of every artist. I have always thought that they were captured to perfection by the Elizabethan poets and by their collaborators, the madrigal composers such as Weelkes, Wilbye and Morely; and, looking back now on the music heard on this recording, I realize how much of it was inspired by the madrigalian spirit. Fancies was written in 1971 for the Richard Hickox Singers and Orchestra (the orchestra was later renamed the City of London Sinfonia, who play on this recording). The first performance was given in London, repeated shortly afterwards at an open-air concert one lovely summer's evening by the River Thames in rural Berkshire, a perfect setting for it. The Suite Antique, dating from 1979, also has a Berkshire association: I was asked to write it for the Cookham Festival, to be peformed by Duke Dobing and the London Baroque Soloists at a concert in Cookham Parish Church. Bach's Fifth Brandenburg Concerto was on the programme, so I decided to write for the same combination of instruments, and to pay musical homage to the forms and styles of Bach's day. - John Rutter

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7023 00 1 CD $11.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Faure - Sacred Music

Review: Tis is a re-release at mid-price of John Rutter's Gramophone Award-winning 1984 recording of Faure's Requiem. The first-ever performance on disc of the work in its intimate original version - famously re-discovered by Rutter in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris after a century of neglect - it remains one of the timeless jewels in the crown of the Collegium catologue. Hailed on release as 'the Faure Requiem of the future' (Music Week), Rutter's performance with the Cambridge Singers and members of the City of London Sinfonia has transformed the way in which we view one of the great works of European sacred music, and remains definitive.

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2369 00 1 CD $11.95


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Spring

Cambridge Singers : Feel The Spirit

Review: Strong, stirring spirituals and tuneful, jazz-flavored settings of Shakespeare's timeless lyrics are the mouth-watering ingredients of the Cambridge Singers' eagerly-awaited new album Feel the Spirit. John Rutter has written vivid new arrangements of seven well-loved American spirituals for choir, with soloist Melanie and the BBC Concert Orchestra joining with the Cambridge Singers for this world premiere recording. Another notable 'first' is jazz legend George Shearing's captivating new cycle of Shakespeare settings, Songs and Sonnets. Those who associate George Shearing with instrumental jazz (and of course with his immortal Lullaby of Birdland) will be astonished and delighted at the youthful charm and skillful word-setting of this 81-year old master's choral writing. The final touch of sparkle is added by Proms favorite Wayne Marshall's piano, with Malcolm Creese on bass. To complete the album, John Rutter's own Birthday Madrigals - written in 1995 to celebrate George Shearing's 75th birthday - also receives their premiere recording.

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6651 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Flora Gave Me Fairest Flowers

Review: The sixteenth-century madrigal was an Italian form. The term 'madrigal' was loosely applied to a wide variety of music, but generally denoted a polyphonic setting for four or more voices of an amorous or pastoral text which was closely depicted in the music. Thomas Morely transplanted the form into England in the 1590s; this marked the beginning of the brief but brilliant flowering of the English madrigal. Between the 1590s and the early 1620s, twenty composers published a total of 36 books of madrigals, after which the form virtually disappeared. Some of these composers, such as Morely and Weelkes, followed the Italian model closely; others, such as Byrd and Gibbons, mostly stayed with the simpler English form of the consort song, where the tune remains in one voice, word-painting is not used, and strophic form is preferred to the continuous structure of the madrigal proper. Among the twenty-one items selected for this recording there are examples of several types of piece, ranging from true Italianate madrigals such as Too much I once lamented, via more popular 'balletts' such as Fyer, fyer!, to the simple part-songs like A little pretty bonny lass. The variety, imagination, and inspired blending of poetry and music characteristic of the best of the 'English Madrigal School' afford a particular kind of delight in performance, shared equally by singer and listener.

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6976 00 1 CD $11.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Gloria

Review: The music heard on this recording represents a cross-section of the sacred choral pieces I have written over a period of some twelve years. Two paramount considerations have shaped it: first, the performers and occasions it was commissioned for, and second, the texts (which I always choose with great deliberation). Gloria, the most substantial piece, was written as a concert work. The Latin text, drawn from the Ordinary of the Mass, is a centuries-old challenge to the composer: exalted, devotional and jubilant by turns. My setting, which is based mainly on one of the Gregorian chants associated with the text, divides into three movements roughly corresponding with traditional symphonic structure. The other pieces are all anthems, primarily intended for use in the context of a church service. They range in difficulty from very simple to fairly challenging, though it was my hope in writing them that none would be beyond the reach of a capable church choir. Although the accompaniments were originally for organ (or, in the case of For the beauty of the earth and All things bright and beautiful, for piano), I enjoyed scoring them for orchestra and prefer them in this form. The three unaccompanied pieces, however, (God be in my head, Open thou mine eyes, and A prayer of Saint Patrick) reflect my love of the a cappella medium.

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7903 00 1 CD $9.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Hail Queen Of Heaven

Review: This CD of sacred music dedicated to the Virgin Mary was appropriately recorded in the unique acoustic of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral(built in 1350) in 1991 by the 28-strong mixed Cambridge Singers. Mary was the object of particularly intense devotion in the early Christian church from 1291 to the 20th century, as these 21 beautiful motets and songs will attest. The liner notes are fine, detailed and extensive. They are divided into 4 parts, "Advent to Candlemas," "Candlemas to Holy Week," "Easter to the Sunday after Pentecost" and Trinity to Advent." The amazing sound of the Singers soars up into the timeless acoustic of the Lady Chapel, and we can only close our eyes and be amazed.

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6701 00 1 CD $11.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Hail, Gladdening Light

Review: John Rutter directs the 28-strong Cambridge Singers in the inspiring setting of the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, gathering together 23 examples of English sacred a cappella choral music drawn from several centuries. Some pieces, such as the Taverner "Christe Jesu, pastor bone," or the Howells' "Nunc dimittis," were written for the Catholic liturgy; most of the English anthems were for the Anglican rite; but such pieces as Tomkins' "When David heard," Morley's "Nolo mortem peccatoris" and Amner's "Come, let's rejoice" were probably intended for domestic performance. In all cases, the beauty of the music transcends ancient politics and the years themselves, as it always must!

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7110 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Images Of Christ

Review: Generations of composers have created a remarkable body of choral literature, inspired by the events in the life of Christ. John Rutter directs the 29-strong Cambridge Singers in a cappella renditions of some of the most beautiful works from this body, divided into five groups. In the first group, "The Coming of Christ," we have pieces by E.C. Bairstow, da Palestrina and Handl, as well as a Sarum chant, "Veni, Redemptor gentium." In the second group, "Words of Christ," we find pieces by Heinrich Schutz, P.I. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky. In the third group, "The Passion of Christ," we have works by Anton Bruckner, da Palestrina, T.L. de Victoria, Pablo Casals and Antonio Lotti. In the fourth group, "Resurrection and Ascension," there are pieces by Peter Phillips, da Palestrina and William Bird. And in the fifth group, "Christ in the Eucharist," we have works by T.L. de Victoria, Richard Dering, Samuel Barber, Olivier Messiaen and a lovely Gregorian chant, "Pange Lingua." The 24-page liner notes contain all words and translations. Let us find an imaginary place in the cathedral and hear the soaring praises to the remarkable man for whom it was built!

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7123 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Magnificat / Requiem

Review: This specially-priced CD includes John Rutter's two most often-performed, larger choral works, previously on two separate recordings. The recording represents two sides of Rutter's choral style - the gentle and introspective Requiem, the bright and joyful Magnificat. Requiem was written in 1985, when Rutter was moved by a personal bereavement. Rutter describes it as "a meditation on themes of life and death using a personal compilation of texts.' Magnificat, written in 1990, premiered in Carnegie Hall. "In countries such as Spain, Mexico and Puerto Rico," writes Rutter, "feast days of the Virgin are joyous opportunities for people to take to the streets and celebrate with singing, dancing and processions. These images of outdoor celebration were, I think, somewhere in my mind as I wrote...." - John Rutter

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7022 00 1 CD $11.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Mass Of The Children

Review: Written in late 2002, in time for a Carnegie Hall performance, performed here by the renowned Cambridge Singers, Cantate Youth Choir and London Sinfonia, and conducted by the composer, the five movements of Rutter's "Mass," are a delight. Following are the lovely "Look at the World," "To every thing there is a season," the joyous "Wings of the Morning" and "A Clare Benediction." Then we have the uplifting "I will sing with the spirit," the flute-accompanied Musica Dei donum," "I my Best-Beloved's am," and finally "Come down, O Love divine." This is beautifully-performed music that fills us with joy and hope, the hope of the children.

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6972 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Old English Madrigals & Folk Songs

Review: Fa la la, a cornucopia of your favorite Madrigals! John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers sing English madrigals and folk songs. As entertainment for public occasions and a relief from boredom, the English madrigal comes in a wide variety of styles from dramatic to silly. This recording includes lighter pieces such as "Now is the Month of Maying" and "My Bonnie Lass She Smileth" by Thomas Morley, the somber "Silver Swan" by Orlando Gibbons and the comical "Fair Phyllis" by John Farmer. In addition, the program includes folk song arrangements by Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughn Williams. A classic recording.

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6803 00 1 CD $15.98 Madrigals CDs


Cambridge Singers : Poulenc Sacred Music

Review: Francis Poulenc's interest in choral music began in the early 1920's. During his study with the composer Koechlin, he harmonized Bach chorale melodies. This work had a distinct influence on him. It was not until the 1930's that he began to write for the choral medium more seriously. Poulenc wrote many pieces for accompanied and unaccompanied choir. His astonishing music has very twentieth century sounds but is heavily influenced by earlier styles. The "Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence" have a very dark and dramatic intensity much like the pieces of Victoria, who Poulenc often thought about while writing them. The Cambridge Singers have recorded many of his great choral works. This album includes the "Gloria" for soprano solo, mixed choir and orchestra, "Litanies a la Vierge Noire" for female voices, strings and timpani and many of his unaccompanied motets.

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6998 00 1 CD $11.98


Cambridge Singers : Sea Change

Review: Choral fans will be very excited about the meeting of two of the most versatile musical minds of their generation, Rutter and Bennett in a CD that is Gramophone Magazine's Editor's Choice for May 2005 and on many lists for Choral disc of the year. The title work, "Sea Change," set to texts by Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell and Edmund Spenser, is 4 pieces, sometimes Britten-esque, dramatic, swirling, agitated, emotional, dissonant and always interesting. "A Farewell to Arms," written for the ensemble VocalEssence for a cappella choir and solo cello, are poignant poems of an old soldier's recollection of war. "A Good-Night " is a lovely motet written in memory of Linda McCartney. The last 8 tracks feature some of Bennett's most accessible works, which happen to be Christmas songs. "There is no rose," "Out of your sleep," "That younge child," "Sweet was the song," "Susanni," "Lullay mine liking" and "What sweeter music" are simply beautiful. The Cambridge Singers, directed by Rutter, are perfect, handling this difficult material with ease. "Sea Change" is a rare, very special recording!

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7507 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Sing, Ye Heavens

Review: Directed by John Rutter, this recording takes as its grand objective a collection of "hymns for all time." Drawn from the Anglican tradition without apology, many of these 21 compositions are accompanied, by anything from a single harp to the London Sinfonia Brass, though there are some a cappella chants. There is nothing stiff or abstract about these arrangements, however. The Cambridge mixed ensemble breathes a vitality into each note, and folk hymns such as "Be Thou My Vision" couldn't be lovelier. Those listeners who grew up singing these hymns in church will be especially fond of "Sing, Ye Heavens," but anyone can enjoy the purity of the sound of the Cambridge Singers.

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6493 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Stanford and Howells Sacred Music

Review: This recording is a choral tribute to the sacred music of two visionary composers who, among their other achievements, made distinctive, lasting and much-cherished contributions to the musical repertory of the English Church. There are many links between Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) and Herbert Howells (1892-1983), the most obvious being that from 1912 to 1916 Howells was one of Stanford's many composition students at the Royal College of Music in London, where Howells was himself later to teach composition for over fifty years. Both men were outstanding teachers, Stanford in particular being virtually father to a whole generation of British composers, including Vaughn Williams, Holst, Bridge, Butterworth, Bliss, Ireland and Gurney. With the exception of the Howells Requiem and the two sacred part-songs, the music heard on this recording was intended for use in the church, in the context of the Anglican liturgy. As such, much of it is familiar and well-loved within Anglican circles but all too little-known elsewhere. It deserves to be more widely appreciated on its own considerable merits.- John Rutter

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7024 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Stillness and Sweet Harmony

Review: This tranquil program is a selection of pieces from classic Cambridge Singers recordings. From Gregorian chant through the twentieth century this CD includes Allegri's "Miserere," "Draw on Sweet Night" by John Wilbye, "Tantum Ergo" by Gabriel Faure and "What Sweeter Music" by John Rutter. Most of these pieces are a cappella, with the others being accompanied by the City of London Sinfonia. This recording is a great addition to a peaceful moment.

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7124 00 1 CD $14.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : Te Deum

Review: Ever since my musical life began, church music has played a significant and cherished part in it: first as a boy soprano in my school chapel choir, then as a teenage organist, much later as director of the chapel choir at Clare College, Cambridge, and most recently as conductor of the Cambridge Singers, whose recordings and recitals often include sacred music. Given this background, it is almost inevitable that among my compositions there should be a fair amount of church music, most of which has been written in response to commissions and invitations. All of the pieces heard on this recording were primarily intended for use in the context of a church service or festival, originally accompanied (with the exception of the two hymn arrangements with brass fanfares) just by organ or piano. However, I also scored the accompaniments for orchestra, and hope they may find use in this more colorful form. John Rutter

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7021 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album

Review: For more than a decade, John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers have shared the Joy of Christmas with the world. The ethereal sound of perfectly blended voices, singing the most beautiful seasonal music ever composed, never fails to touch the heart and lift the spirit. This year, John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers have assembled a new collection - compiled from the archives, including four never before released tracks! Tracks include English Traditional Carols, European Traditional Carols, Choruses and Motets and Composer's Carols.

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7003 00 1 CD $11.98 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : The John Rutter Christmas Album

Review: The Renowned, 31-strong Cambridge Singers have a present for us: 23 songs of Christmas, many of them written, composed and/or arranged by contemporary composer John Rutter, a giant in the Choral world. "Jesus Child," "There Is A Flower," "Donkey Carol," "Wildwood Carol," "Angels' Carol," "Mary's Lullaby" - Rutter's original music is lovely, and the CS are the group to do it justice. Also fine are all the traditional carols like "I Saw Three Ships" and "Joy to the World." The songs are divided into six sections: Prologue, The Christmas Story, Christmas Night, Christmas Reflections, Christmas Joy and Epilog. Most of the songs are accompanied by the London Sinfonia. The liner notes are extensive and beautiful. A monumental achievement for the Cambridge Singers, a generous, spirited and brilliant Christmas CD!

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6766 00 1 CD $11.98 Mixed Choir Christmas CDs


Cambridge Singers : The John Rutter Collection

Review: The music on "Collection" embraces both Rutter's sacred and a little of his secular work, most of it commissioned by choirs for specific occasions. "Shepherd's Pipe Carol" (1966) is the earliest piece; "Angels' carol" (1988) and "What Sweeter Music," (written in 1988 for the King's College Choir), are lovely carols. "For the Beauty of the Earth" (1980), "All things bright and beautiful" (1983), "Open Thou Mine Eyes" (1980), A choral fanfare," (1989), "A Prayer of St. Patrick," (1983), "O be joyful in the Lord," (1984), and "A Gaelic Blessing" were all commissioned by American Choirs. Two longer and more ambitious festival anthems, "Behold, the tabernacle of God" and the lovely "O praise the Lord of heaven," are favorites. Secular songs "My true love hath my heart" and "Sing a song of sixpence" exist harmoniously with excepts from Rutter's larger works, "Out of the deep," "Pie Jesu" and "The Lord is my shepherd." Rutter's work never fails to touch us, no matter if sung by any number of childrens' choirs, or by a powerful, veteran ensemble like the Cambridge Singers, whose a cappella cuts, "Open Thou Mine Eyes," "My true love hath my heart," "A choral fanfare," "A prayer for St. Patrick," "Mathew, Mark, Luke and John" and "Sing a Song of Sixpence" are standouts. Accompaniment, understated to heavy and dramatic, is provided by the City of London Sinfonia. A remarkable collection of 22 songs by one of the great composers, conducted by the master himself!

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7993 00 1 CD $15.98 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : The Sacred Flame

Review: A new recording by John Rutter and his Cambridge Singers is always welcome, and this one features 20 works drawn from the sacred choral repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque. Most of these are motets and many are familiar (Palestrina's Sicut cervus and Exsultate Deo, Gabrieli's Jubilate Deo, Lassus' Timor et tremor, Josquin's Ave Maria) and all are included in Rutter's published anthology, European Sacred Music (Oxford). As Rutter states, the program's theme is to focus on the "wealth of sacred music...created in continental Europe out of the ferment of the age of Reformation", and while Rutter has chosen primarily works resulting from the "extraordinary flowering" of musical activity in the Catholic church during this period, we also are treated to a motet by Bach (O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht BWV 118/231, often mis-classified as a cantata), a Magnificat (presumably) by Buxtehude, and a psalm (100) by Schutz.

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9055 00 1 CD $16.95 English Choral CDs


Cambridge Singers : The Sprig of Thyme

Review: "For children growing up in postwar England as I did, traditional songs still form a common musical currency. These songs brought me delight and pleasure then, and they still do now, though pleasure has become tinged with nostalgia because, for the most part, they are forgotten and gone from our lives, perhaps forever. This album is an affectionate tribute to their composers and poets; a few were renowned, most were obscure or unknown, but the songs they created were famous, and I remember them fondly." - John Rutter

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7972 00 1 CD $11.98 Mixed Choirs CDs


Cambridge Singers : There is Sweet Music

Review: The Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter, bring us English choral music (all a cappella), folk-songs, airs and ballads, from the composers Elgar, Stanford, Delius, Grainger, Vaughan Williams, Holst and Britten. These lovely songs, with names like Delius' "To be sung of a summer night on the water," Williams' "The cloud-capped towers," and Britten's "The succession of the four sweet months," tells us all we need to know about these songs. Soaring, sweet and delightful!

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7106 00 1 CD $12.98 English Choral CDs


Choir of Clare College : Carols From Clare

Review: When you have one of England's premiere choirs being directed by one of England's foremost director while singing some of the finest traditional carols then you most certainly have yourself a wonderful holiday recording. Noted baritone Simon Vaughn is featured and many of the songs are accompanied by the Clare College Orchestra.

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8469 00 1 CD $14.98 Men's Choir Christmas


Cambridge Singers : Lighten Our Darkness: Music for the Close of Day

Review: The service of Compline is the last of the seven daily services observed in monastic communities, taking place immediately before bedtime. This CD gathers together 18 of the many lovely a cappella choral motets, mainly from the Renaissance period, which were written to adorn the evening worship of the church. Composers featured include William Byrd, Orlando de Lassus, John Sheppard and others. In some traditions it became the custom to include a Motet of the Virgin Mary within Compline. Here we have four examples by de Victoria and a beautiful Ave Maria by Rachmaninov. The Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter, sing as well as ever and the clear and cool acoustic of the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral make it the perfect setting for Compline. In addition there is a 22 minute bonus disc in which the Office of Compline, sung in English with its traditional chants, is given in its entirety with John Harte as Reader and Simon Wall as Precentor.

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8399 00 2 CDs $15.95 Early Music CDs


Cambridge Singers : Treasures of English Church Music

Review: Whether you have a couple dozen albums of English choral music or whether you're looking for an introduction to English choral music, this two CD collection is a must. This is all unaccompanied music, sung in a cathedral chapel acoustically suited for such music. The first disc has four primary sections: Music of the Latin Rite; Music of the Reformation; Music of the Restoration; and Anglican Revival and the twentieth century. The most famous composers in English music history -- Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons -- combine with later masters such as Purcell, Stanford, Howells, Walton, Britten and Vaughan Williams to form a truly masterful collection. On the second disc, there are six Latin motets, set by composers such as Taverner, Howells, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Philips and Dering. Anthens and Introits include notables Tomkins and Purcell, and lesser-known composers such as Amner, Bairstow and Goss. Hymns span the range from old to modern, including a hymn by John Rutter himself. The disc ends with three prayer settings, including one by the underappreciated John Sheppard, and another from William Harris, whose hymn serves as the title to the companion disc. These anthems and hymns show a powerful range of music, yet show a consistent tone also that makes it rather distinctive of the music of the English church. The group's power and grace is second to none, particularly when singing this kind of music in a place such as Ely Cathedral, arguably the most natural of settings possible.

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8694 00 2 CDs $29.95 English Choral CDs


John Rutter : Anthem Collection

Review: A collection of John Rutter's anthems, featuring eleven of his best compositions. These selections have been carefully chosen to reflect the breadth and beauty of Rutter's sacred choral music making this collection an invaluable addition to any music library.

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7556 01 Songbook $6.95


John Rutter : Birthday Madrigals

Review: Birthday Madrigals was written at the invitation of Brian Kay, conductor of the Cheltenham Bach Choir, to celebrate the seventy-fifth birthday of the great jazz pianist George Shearing. The first performance was given, in his presence, in Cheltenham Town Hall on June 3, 1995 by the Cheltenham Bach Choir with Neil Swainson (double bass), John Rutter conducting. The seed of the composition was 'It was a lover and his lass,' witten in 1975. The other four movements, their texts also drawn from the madrigal era (hence the work's title), were added in 1995 to make the present choral suite.

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9354 01 Songbook $12.95 Madrigal Arrangements


John Rutter : Carols

Review: Full of joy and tenderness, John Rutter's carols illuminate and celebrate the Christmas story in works of great imagination and variety. This selection of his most popular carols forms an essential collection for all choirs. Includes 10 SATB carols, accompanied and unaccompanied.

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9353 01 Songbook $9.95 Choral Christmas Arrangements


John Rutter : Fancies

Review: Featured on the Cambridge Singers' album of the same name, 'Fancies' is an exquisite cycle of choral settings for mixed voices and small orchestra.

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9357 01 Songbook $14.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter : Feel The Spirit

Review: This collection of familiar spirituals arranged by John Rutter is beautifully set for mezzo-soprano solo and mixed choir. Each selection can be performed alone, or the collection can be performed as a whole to showcase the rich heritage of the spiritual.

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9687 01 Songbook $7.50


John Rutter : Five Childhood Lyrics

Review: This choral collection includes settings of children's poems and nursery rhymes for SATB unaccompanied - with some divisi.

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9352 01 Songbook $12.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter : Five Traditional Songs

Review: In this choral collection we have five settings of traditional songs, arranged by John Rutter for SATBB unaccompanied voices.

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9359 01 Songbook $9.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter : Gloria

Review: Composed by John Rutter, this vocal score for mixed voices and piano is a brilliant choral piece that your singers and audience members will love. The score comes with choral notation and piano reduction, the text language is Latin, with a total of 44 pages.

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9360 01 Songbook $9.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter : Psalmfest

Review: This excellent choral collection by John Rutter is written for mixed voices and keybord. The nine movements form a single choral work comprising seven pieces previously published separately and two new movements. A broad range of emotions all find their place with rich and varied musical settings. It features solos for soprano and tenor soloists - an excellent addition to your sacred choral program!

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9361 01 Songbook $11.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter : The Sprig of Thyme

Review: Featured on the Cambridge Singers' album of the same name, 'The Sprig of Thyme' is a beautiful cycle of folk-song settings, each setting giving plenty of opportunity for different voices in your choir the opportunity to shine!

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9362 01 Songbook $9.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter : When Icicles Hang

Review: In this collection we have a cycle of choral settings with words by Campion, Shakespeare, and anon. for SATB (with tenor solo) and small orchestra.

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9358 01 Songbook $14.95 English Choral Arrangements


John Rutter (Editor) : Christmas Motets

Review: This songbook is part of the Oxford Choral Classics series and gathers in one volume sixteen of the finest motets and related pieces for the season of Christmas. The collection gives due space to the magnificant works of the Renaissance period, with well-known motets such as Victoria's O magnum mysterium and Sweeelink's Hodie Chritus natus est placed alongside works by Byrd, Palestrina and Mouton. There are also works from later peiods, including Bruckner's Virga Jesse, an estatic motet in praise of Christ's birth, and Cui's fervant and sonorous setting of the Magnificat. As such, the collection is an outstanding and richly varied survey of the repertoire, and provides a superb choice of pieces for all choirs seeking a broad selection of music for this season.

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6608 01 Songbook $12.95 Choral Christmas Arrangements

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