John Rutter, a contemporary composer best known for his choral music, shows off his talent for orchestral music in "Distant Land," conducting the Royal Philharmonic. Rutter freely admits that most of the pieces on this CD had their roots in songs and choral music, and indeed the works here are distinguished mainly by their songlike melodies. Frankly, I find the "Beatles Concerto" little more than a novelty, but other works here--particularly the "Five Meditations for Orchestra"--I could listen to with pleasure every day of my life. Another reviewer on this site compared these pieces to Holst's "Brook Green Suite" and Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances," and indeed anyone who likes those works will like Rutter's orchestral music. As an orchestral composer, Rutter lacks the complexity that would elevate him to the top rank of British composers--Elgar, Delius, Vaughan Williams, Britten--but he deserves a solid place on the second rung with Holst, Finzi and Bax. In an age when most classical composers seemingly strive to portray their latest migraines in music, it's pleasant to encounter a composer who isn't afraid to write something pretty.