"Recorded in the Great Hall of University College School, London, the Cambridge Singers under the direction of John Rutter produced a true masterpiece in 'Brother Sun, Sister Moon' in 1988. The title derives from a famous prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, and is inspired by liturgical music from (or derivative of) the Middle Ages and Renaissance polyphony and Gregorian chant. The music is meditative, uplifting, and elegant in simplicity and stunning vocal quality. --Brother Sun--
The first half of the disc is largely composed of pieces from the liturgical Morning Prayer cycle, concentrating on texts from Easter, the most important of Christian days. From the Alleluia to the Acclamations and Surrexit Christus Hodie (Christ is risen today), the flow from Gregorian Chant to compositions by Byrd, Taverner and Palestrina (giants of this type of music) in increasing energy and glory, as befits both a Morning service (time to wake up!) as well as a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps of particular note here is the cantoring of bass Gerald Finley in the Easter Acclamations. --Sister Moon--
The second half of the disc concentrates on music of the evening; in particular, the Compline service, a service of unwinding and sombre meditation with which monastic communities conclude their days of work and worship. Many churches have reincorporated Compline into a regular cycle of services; some have even done so as a result of exposure to this recording. The music here is softer and less energetic than that of Morning prayer. This includes music from Whyte and Sheppard (also masters of the Medieval-to-Renaissance liturgical polyphony) as well as a brilliant motet by twentieth century composer Duruflé for the Ubi Caritas.--Liner Notes--
The notes for this recording include the titles and words, in both Latin and English, for each of the pieces recorded here. It has an excerpt from a prayer by St. Francis, and a basic introduction to the music relating it historically and liturgically. One thing conspicuously missing is any biographical information about John Rutter, or any descriptive information about the Cambridge Singers apart from the basic listing of singers.--John Rutter--
Rutter was born in London and educated at Clare College, Cambridge. This was where his career as a composer, arranger and conductor began. His early work was with groups at King's College Chapel at Cambridge as well as the Bath Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra. He has worked for the BBC providing music for educational series such as 'The Archaeology of the Bible Lands', until in 1979 he began forming the Cambridge Singers, and has continued a remarkable career of performance and recording as their director ever since. --The Cambridge Singers--
The Cambridge Singers are a mixed choir of voices, many of whom were members of choir of Rutter's college, Clare College, Cambridge. While they specialise in English and Latin liturgical pieces, they have a wide range of recordings that span from modern compositions (including a remarkable requiem by Rutter) to English folk songs of the Middle Ages. For this particular recording, the choir consisted of eleven sopranos, six altos, six tenors, and six basses."
American Gramaphone, please reissue this title.
Echolucent | Tucson | 03/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I originally obtained this CD through Minnesota Public Radio. The first time I listened to the Ubi Caritus, I was moved to tears. The CD became my favorite to play at Christmas and other times. I gave the CD to a friend who has moved to Oregon, deeply regret that it is no longer in production. John Rutter trains his singers to sing without vibrato, and blends their voices with such balance that they come together as a single instrument. The selection on this CD is perfect to demonstrate the clarity and richness of this ensemble. If American Gramaphone does reissue this title, I will be first in line to purchase it."
Cambridge Singers = Quality
francis_xavier_borgia | St. Paul, MN United States | 05/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I do love this cd, but tend to play certain tracks as my first love is chant. I play the Victimae Paschali Laudes in the car and sing along - it is so very beautiful that this rendition of this Easter Chant is worth purchasing this cd alone. I love that one track so much, my only criticism of the cd is that I wish they'd centered the entire cd on chant - and I hope they will do one like that in the future because the quality of the voices is stunning."
francis_xavier_borgia | 05/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard about this tape through a spritual retreat and am very sorry that it is not available. The music has great meaning for me and I hope to be able to find a copy somewhere. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in spending time in meditation and prayer."