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The piece is dedicated to the memory of John Hughes, and was first performed by the combined choirs of Jesus College at a memorial Evensong in their college chapel on 27 June 2015.
It was not the easiest of pieces to write. After much searching I found George MacDonald’s poem which seemed to express what we all felt, and I instantly knew that I wanted to juxtapose it with the In paradisum section of the age-old Burial Service. Oddly, once the texts were chosen, the music seemed to flow naturally from them, and the poignant voice of a solo oboe sprang into my head. I respectfully offer the piece to John’s family, friends and colleagues with the hope that they may find consolation in it.
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