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John Rutter (b1945)

O praise the Lord of heaven

Music of rejoicing and reflection by John Rutter
The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor)
Download only
Recording details: Various dates
Various recording venues
Produced by Various producers
Engineered by Various engineers
Release date: September 2013
Total duration: 74 minutes 23 seconds

Cover artwork: Stained glass window in Washington National Cathedral.
 

Here is some music of rejoicing and reflection which John Rutter wrote for a variety of choirs and occasions, over a period of many years.

The earliest piece, The Falcon, is the largest and most ambitious of all and was written in 1969 for the choir and orchestra of the Cambridge University Musical Society and the choristers of King’s College. At its heart is the medieval Corpus Christi Carol—an allegorical poem on the theme of Christ’s Passion—framed by a psalm of rejoicing and a visionary prayer for peace.

Reviews

'The Cambridge Singers are in excellent voice throughout and any listener who enjoys the work of John Rutter will appreciate this collection although, as we said earlier, you will need to check to see whether you already have any of the recordings on earlier releases' (Cross Rhythms)

'The Cambridge Singers and City of London Sinfonia have the lion's share of this disc. They present amazing performances: very clear diction, tuning and a great sense of blend within the choir, as well as very expressive playing from the orchestra' (MusicWeb International)» More
The music heard on this album was written for a variety of choirs and occasions over a period of many years. The earliest piece, The falcon, is the largest and most ambitious; it was written in 1969 while I was still a student, for the choir and orchestra of the Cambridge University Musical Society and the choristers of King’s College. At its heart is the medieval Corpus Christi Carol—an allegorical poem on the theme of Christ’s Passion—framed by a Psalm of rejoicing and a visionary prayer for peace.

My lifelong love of the Psalms is reflected in three other pieces here—O praise the Lord of heaven, written for Westminster College Choir, Princeton in 1980; I will lift up mine eyes, written concurrently with my Gloria in 1974 for a choir in Omaha, Nebraska; and the brief but festive Choral Fanfare, written for a Carnegie Hall concert in 1989.

Canterbury Cathedral was the awe-inspiring setting for the 1988 premiere of the Te Deum, the occasion a centenary celebration of the Guild of Church Musicians, and the music pays homage to the grandeur and tradition of the cathedral. A similar ceremonial feeling underlies two of the hymn settings, All creatures of our God and King and Now thank we all our God … I do love the sound of fanfares in a great building and on a great occasion.

Gentleness and quiet reflection have perhaps a deeper place in my heart, and those qualities are to the fore in Go forth into the world in peace (1988) and The peace of God (1991), together with the two hymns which, unusually, I arranged with harp accompaniment for a Cambridge Singers recording in 2000, The King of Love my shepherd is and Amazing grace.

As an itinerant composer and conductor, I cherish my long association with the only choir I can call my own, the Cambridge Singers. Its members are busy freelance professional singers, and they meet only when we have a recording to make. In the choir’s thirty-year existence the membership has inevitably changed, but its dedication to excellence remains unwavering and ever-inspiring.

John Rutter 2013

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