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Unlike a Requiem, where a set form of words is laid down in Catholic liturgy, no framework exists for a celebration of life, and I had to choose (and in three cases, write) texts which were appropriate to a theme rarely expressed in music. The six movements of The Gift of Life reflect different facets of the miracles of creation and of life, and I was happy to be able to include as the third of them my Hymn to the Creator of Light, originally written in 1992 as an unaccompanied double-choir motet in memory of the composer Herbert Howells on the occasion of the dedication of his new memorial window in Gloucester Cathedral. I had always felt slightly wistful that this piece was somewhat of an orphan on its own, and here was an opportunity to give it a home as part of a larger work. I added a discreet orchestral accompaniment to enrich the texture and to make it more consistent with the other five movements.
I gratefully acknowledge the generosity of David and Miranda Lind who provided funds for the commissioning of The Gift of Life. The score is inscribed ‘in honour of Terry Price and in memory of Alice Marie Lind, commissioned by David and Miranda Lind’.
from notes by John Rutter © 2015
|Rutter: The Gift of Life & other sacred music|
'The Gift of Life', is a six-movement choral celebration of the living earth, of creation, and of life itself, offering a kaleidoscope of moods from contemplative and prayerful to majestic and inspirational.» More