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John Rutter - The Choral Collection

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Album Review

If John Rutter's lush, maximalist textures and gigantic string-laden compositions and arrangements move you, this collection of orchestral pieces certainly will be your cup of tea (herbal, of course). In his vocal works, Rutter occasionally uses instrumental restraint so as not to distract from the power in his message. But here, the stops are out. Aside from the rather impressionistic title cut, the rest of the pieces here are multi-part suites or "meditations." The "Five Meditations for Orchestra" work the best since each section concentrates on different chromatics and dynamics, showcasing different aspects of the ensemble in relation to a theme. The four-part "Suite for Strings" centers around traditional tunes from the British folk vernacular, and the "Suite Antique for Flute, Harpsichord and Strings" is a fine setting for the older instrument in a modern context. Only the sugary, overtly sweet and hopelessly drawn-out romanticism of his three-part "Beatles Concerto for Two Piano and Orchestra" falls flat on its face.

Customer Reviews

All the greats!

For fans of Rutter's music, and even those that aren't, this is the perfect Christmas gift. From old classics like 'For the Beauty of the Earth' to new pieces like 'The Gift of Music' (sung beautifully by Allan Clayton), this album offers both joy and sadness. The arrangement of 'Deep River' made me shed more than one tear, as it somehow manages to reach 'deep' into the soul. There are so many great things that can be said about this album, and there isn't space enough to say them!


This is too sickly sweet for me. I like the Cambridge Singers when they are singing more traditional repotoire but a whole disc of Rutter is too much to take. If you like Songs of Praise you will love this, but if you prefer church music unsullied then look elswhere.


Never possessed an album full of Rutter nor of the Cambridge Singers, but I love this. I bought it for the track 'The Gift of Music' but I could sit and listen to Rutter all night long. A lovely collection.


Born: 24 September 1945 in London, England

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

John Rutter is one of England's best-known composers of the late 20th century, as well as a widely respected choral conductor and music scholar and editor. While his choral works, both small and large -- including the Gloria (1974), Magnificat (1990), Requiem (1985), Psalmfest (1993), and Mass of the Children (2003) -- are the most familiar, he has written instrumental works, including a piano concerto; two children's operas; and music for television. Rutter also composed specially for such groups...
Full bio

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  • £11.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2005

Customer Ratings