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John Rutter (b1945)

Lead, kindly Light

The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor) Detailed performer information
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Label: Collegium
Recording details: July 2021
St John's, Smith Square, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Chris Hazell
Engineered by Mike Hatch
Release date: November 2021
Total duration: 1 minutes 35 seconds

The Cambridge Singers perform John Rutter's setting of this famous text which was commissioned for the 2020 Three Choirs Festival.

John Henry Newman, a leading figure in the Oxford Movement, and later a cardinal after his transition to the Catholic church, wrote the three-stanza poem Lead, kindly Light in 1833 while becalmed at sea returning to England from a recuperative holiday in Italy. It reflects his doubts and anxieties about the future direction of the Anglican church, also possibly about his own faith. I turned to the first stanza of this well-loved text in 2020, having been invited by the Three Choirs Festival to compose both an extended anthem and a brief introit for one of their festival Evensongs. Amid all the difficulties of that year, Newman’s text seemed perfect for an a cappella introit. In the event, the 2020 Three Choirs Festival had to be cancelled, and the premiere took place at the rescheduled 2021 Worcester Three Choirs Festival.

John Rutter © 2021

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