Search - John Rutter, Cambridge Singers :: Requiem

John Rutter, Cambridge Singers
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Rutter's Requiem, his first composition written without being commissioned, is a convincing affirmation of Christian doctrine pertaining to death and eternal life. It is also a substantial and sincere work that strives t...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Rutter, Cambridge Singers
Title: Requiem
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Collegium
Release Date: 4/19/1993
Genre: Classical
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Historical Periods, Early Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 040888010326

Rutter's Requiem, his first composition written without being commissioned, is a convincing affirmation of Christian doctrine pertaining to death and eternal life. It is also a substantial and sincere work that strives to be widely appealing while preserving a spiritual context centered around themes of light and consolation. Highlights include "Out of the Deep," its modal tune and harmonies giving it the flavor of a spiritual, and the wonderfully gentle and restful 23rd Psalm. Rutter personalizes his Requiem by adding movements not traditionally part of the Requiem Mass--passages from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, for instance--and this proves to be an effective strategy. The Cambridge Singers are superb as usual, and soloist Caroline Ashton steals the show with her heavenly Pie Jesu. --David Vernier

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CD Reviews

Beautiful, Awe Inspiring Music
Paul M. Dubuc | Columbus, OH USA | 08/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After hearing a friend play this music in his office next to mine, I had to run out and buy a copy. It is so beautiful. At first I mistakenly bought a recording made by a different choir. It wasn't the same. I had to go back and get this one. The Cambridge Singers and the London Synphonia perform this work beautifully. The oboe in "The Lord is My Shepherd" is numinous. I'm entranced by it. It soothes my soul. This music is wonderful. I couldn't help but get more of John Rutter, but this one is still my favorite."
Lux aeterna
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 10/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This recording of the Cambridge Singers has them recording pieces composed by their own director, John Rutter. Rutter's Requiem has become one his most widely-recorded pieces, with literally dozens of versions available internationally. This was recorded at one of the Cambridge Singers' favourite venues, the Great Hall of University College School, London, in 1986. Here they are joined by the City of London Sinfonia, and feature sopranos Caroline Ashton and Donna Deam.

This Requiem was written in 1985. In Catholic liturgy, a requiem is a Mass for the Dead, and as such involves strong tones both of mourning and loss as well as elements of hope and eternal life as reflected in Christian belief. Rutter states that, like Brahms and Faure, there are elements that depart from the traditional lines of a Catholic requiem. Rutter takes some of the texts from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Both the first and second movements, Requiem aeternam and 'Out of the Deep', set very dark, low, sombre tones. The use of strings at the beginning of 'Out of the Deep' is very effective, together with funeral-dirge like vocals. This contrasts greatly with the Pie Jesu, light and spiritual. The Sanctus is almost playful in aspect, and the Agnus Dei and Lux aeterna draw the listener higher and higher into the fullness of expectation of God's presence.

In addition to the Requiem, Rutter's setting of Psalm 121 (I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills) is included here, as a setting for mixed choir and orchestra. It is a wonderful, full and melodious setting, with strong instrumentation and strong singing complementing each other.

--Liner Notes--
The notes include an introduction to the CD by Rutter very briefly the outline of a requiem. Lyrics are included, and where the original is in Latin, an English translation is provided. There is no information on the performers of the Cambridge Singers, no description of the group, nor biographical information about John Rutter.

--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. Many are former members of the choir of Clare College and other Cambridge collegiate choirs (hence the name, Cambridge Singers). In the quarter-century since the founding, the Cambridge Singers have produced an impressive body of recordings.

This is a truly beautiful work.
My Most Favorite Sacred Music
Robert N. Talbert | Darnestown, Maryland USA | 12/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rutter's Requiem is one of the most movingly beautiful works in the modern canon of sacred music. I have conducted, sung and listened to this music numerous times, and it always sends chills down my spine. The Cambridge Singers render Rutter's compositions flawlessly. It does not get better than this."