Even amateur like me says--It's perfect!
L. T. Pun | Buffalo, NY, United States | 08/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have sung in a choir, then I suppose John Rutter's name won't be new to you. He has composed so many beautiful (hence famous) choral music like All Things Bright and Beautiful, For the Beauty of the Earth and The Lord Bless you and Keep you that make him, I can say, the 20th century master of choral music. With their beautiful tunes and harmony, his pieces are widely sung by school chorus, church choir as well as professional choirs.Rutter's Requiem is no exception. Just that this time he did even better then before. In the past, his music was sometimes criticized as `pop-like'. But in this work we can feel it, both emotionally and musically, more `deep down' than his pass works. This can be reflected by the serious planned structure of the work. According to the composer, the whole piece resembles an arch-like structure. This is archived through the setting of the mass and also the tunes themselves.Talking about tune, the tunes and harmony of Rutter's Requiem are absolutely beautiful-which make this piece truly touches people's heart. I can still remember the first time I heard Pie Jesu. That performance was only the simplified version of Rutter's Requiem with an organ+oboe+cello+timpani+flute+chorus combination, but still it made me wept for no reason but simply the music. It really did. It is difficult to describe the mysterious strength of the Rutter's Requiem with words, all I can say is: it is magnificent!No doubt that Polyphony did a great job in this recording-the control of the choir (esp. the dynamic) is nearly perfect. However, what really makes this recording unique form the others is the choice of the soloists. In this recording they chose Rosa Mannion as the soloist. Personally I know nothing about her, but I have to say she really has a nice strong voice. This makes a somewhat special combination, for the fact that in the rest of Rutter's Requiem's recordings boys or thinner-voice-female soloists were used. With the storng soprano Polyphony's recording can be a fairly new experience to the listeners. I Also recommend the other John Rutter's work included in this recording, especially the beautiful choral work The Lord Bless you and Keep you. Again, it reflects the Rutter's nearly perfect choud using technique."