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John Rutter - Visions & Requiem (2016)

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John Rutter - Visions & Requiem (2016)

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Visions 
1 	Processional And Prelude: Jerusalem The Blessed 	2:45
2 	Arise, Shine 	4:34
3 	Lament For Jerusalem 	6:50
4 	Finale: The Holy City 	6:18
Requiem 
5 	1. Requiem Aeternam 	6:04
6 	2. Out Of The Deep 	6:07
7 	3. Pie Jesu 	4:00
8 	4. Sanctus 	2:24
9 	5. Agnus Dei 	6:12
10 	6. The Lord Is My Shepherd 	5:10
11 	7. Lux Aeterna 	7:16

Alice Halstead - Sopranos (tracks: 7, 11)
Kerson Leong - Violin (tracks: 1 to 4)
Sebastian van Kuijk - Cello (tracks: 6)
Thomas Barber - Oboe (tracks: 10)
Aurora Orchestra
Temple Church Boys' Choir (tracks: 1 to 4)
The Cambridge Singers (tracks: 5 to 11)
John Rutter - Conductor

 

This new album couples John Rutter's most recent work with one of his most popular. Visions celebrates the utopian ideal of heavenly peace in in four movements written specially for the solo violin of Kerson Leong, string ensemble and the boy choristers of the Temple Church choir. The Requiem of 1985 receives a vital new recording under the guidance of its composer. ---hyperion-records.co.uk

 

John Rutter's Requiem Mass of 1985 was not the first composition to show his mature style, but it served notice of his place in the rising neo-Romantic movement of the time with its unashamedly melodic idiom, drawn on that of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem (and performed with that work in its American premiere) and boiling it down to simple structures. Whether you like Rutter or not, you will concede that here he has not let the Devil have all the good tunes. The work has been one of Rutter's most successful and has been recorded several times, but this release by Rutter's own Cambridge Singers and Aurora Orchestra marks the first under his baton since his 1985 recording. One of his stated reasons for recording the work again was to take advantage of the evolution of digital technology since those infant days, and here the recording succeeds solidly, with absolute textual clarity in the acoustically ideal All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, in London. That also serves Rutter well in a second goal: that of introducing a new work as a balance to the early one. Visions (2016) was written for its violin soloist, Kerson Leong; it is for violin, chorus, and orchestra, and is based on biblical texts that each describe a different vision. This plays to Rutter's strengths in finding texts that connect with listeners emotionally and setting them accessibly, and the work shows that the septuagenarian Rutter has lost none of his touch. The forces -- a different choir and conductor, but the same orchestra -- introduce an attractive, subtle contrast with the Requiem Mass, which itself is frequently gorgeous (sample the "Agnus Dei" for a taste of Rutter at his tuneful best). This recording may not win over Rutter detractors, but it's a fair bet that his fans will flock to it. --- James Manheim, AllMusic Review

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