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Gloria And Other Sacred Music

John Rutter Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 20.57 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. Gloria I
2. Gloria II
3. Gloria III
4. Come Down, O Love Divine
5. Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Peace
6. To Everything There Is A Reason
7. I My Best-Beloved'sd Am
8. Praise The Lord, O My Soul
9. I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
10. As The Bridegroom To His Chosen
11. A Clare Benediction
12. The Lord Is My Light And My Salvation
13. Go Forth Into The World
14. The Perfect Love
15. Te Deum

Product Description

Amazon.ca

As demonstrated on Rutter-Gloria and other Sacred Music, John Rutter is what happens when you mix some Fauré, Walton, Britten and touch of Sondheim in a bowl and simmer gently. It's no recipe for credibility among the front ranks of contemporary music. But as often happens with composers who shop around for inspiration, the result turns out to be something oddly personal. Rutter writes with elegance and clarity and a melodic gift exactly suited to his purpose, which is almost always choral music. And this is the second disc which Stephen Layton's outstanding professional choir, Polyphony, has devoted to his work. The pieces here are of a lesser calibre than on the first Choral Works, but notable for a striking, macaronic adaptation of the Francis Quarles text "I my Best-Beloved's am", as well as the haunting beauty of the biblical "To everything there is a season". And it's hard not to enjoy the sheer, bare-faced bravura of the way the Gloria out-Waltons Walton. To hear this music is to understand how Rutter has effectively become in-house composer to the Anglican Communion. --Michael White

Product Description

& autres pièces sacrées / Polyphony - The City of London Sinfonia - The Wallace Collection - Andrew Lumsden, orgue - Dir. Stephen Layton

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
This CD is highly recomended the grandeure of the work is done perfecly by the wallace collections and the polyphony itself. The most dramatic recording of anthems of rutter, happy to listen too a happy recording.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet but sturdy July 1 2001
Format:Audio CD
The music of John Rutter consistently provokes mixed reactions amongst musical circles. There are those who cannot stand it, seeing it as tasteless and even annoying; some enjoy certain aspects of his output but do not love it all; some can find nothing but praise for it. As one who has performed various works and arrangements of his, I feel that it certainly can be overly 'saccharine' in the light of the other serious classical music being written today - yet it is unfailingly well-written, offering genuine challenges to those who perform it. And beyond all the sugary melodies and soupy harmonies, Rutter is capable of producing moments of real heart-wrenching emotion. Indeed, it says much of him that he can create memorable, 'hummable' tunes in an age wherein such a skill is perhaps looked upon as anachronistic.
It certainly says much of Rutter that this is now the second disc that the elite Hyperion company have devoted entirely to his music. Those who know and love his "Requiem" through its many commercially-available recordings will recognise many similar elements in "Gloria," obviously a more exubrant and joyful concert work, which is presented here with an effective scoring for organ, brass and percussion. It is at a glance reminiscent of a concerto, with three movements (two loud and fast ones, sandwiching a slower central movement) and recurring themes that are tossed between chorus and accompaniment. The opening is immediately characteristic of Rutter: the combined rhythms and fanfare-like motifs make it sound almost like the opening to some hit musical, and contrast is provided by utterances of unaccompanied chorus in which harmony is the most interesting element.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! June 14 2001
Format:Audio CD
Being a fan of John Rutter, I found this new recording, on Hyperion label, of the Gloria and sacred music, one of the best yet. The choir and orchestra are to be commended on the delicate and yet vibrant performance. The Polyphony choir, though only consisting of about 25 voices, produces a powerful and well rounded sound. I really enjoyed this recording and it was great to hear a few new anthems. The sound was very clear and the choir's annunciation was well articulated, so that you hear every word. I have most of his works and a great admirer of the Cambridge Singers, though I will put this Hyperion recording there, right next to John Rutter's choir. I was pleased to hear that the organ, especially in the Gloria and Te Deum could be clearly heard, but not dominating the voices or the orchestra. A very balanced sound throughout. The Wallace Collection, added to the City of London Sinfonia, gave that very 'Ruttorian' brassy sound. Very impressive! This wonderful recording is a real joy to listen to. Bravo!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet but sturdy July 1 2001
By Mark Swinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The music of John Rutter consistently provokes mixed reactions amongst musical circles. There are those who cannot stand it, seeing it as tasteless and even annoying; some enjoy certain aspects of his output but do not love it all; some can find nothing but praise for it. As one who has performed various works and arrangements of his, I feel that it certainly can be overly 'saccharine' in the light of the other serious classical music being written today - yet it is unfailingly well-written, offering genuine challenges to those who perform it. And beyond all the sugary melodies and soupy harmonies, Rutter is capable of producing moments of real heart-wrenching emotion. Indeed, it says much of him that he can create memorable, 'hummable' tunes in an age wherein such a skill is perhaps looked upon as anachronistic.
It certainly says much of Rutter that this is now the second disc that the elite Hyperion company have devoted entirely to his music. Those who know and love his "Requiem" through its many commercially-available recordings will recognise many similar elements in "Gloria," obviously a more exubrant and joyful concert work, which is presented here with an effective scoring for organ, brass and percussion. It is at a glance reminiscent of a concerto, with three movements (two loud and fast ones, sandwiching a slower central movement) and recurring themes that are tossed between chorus and accompaniment. The opening is immediately characteristic of Rutter: the combined rhythms and fanfare-like motifs make it sound almost like the opening to some hit musical, and contrast is provided by utterances of unaccompanied chorus in which harmony is the most interesting element. The second movement - "Domine Deus" - features a gently undulating, flute-like solo from the organ, which is worked through gentle brass chorales and beautifully crafted sung passages, with a genuinely moving use of solo sopranos and altos. The third movement - "Quoniam tu solus sanctus" - brings back the boppy nature of the first movement, and quite startlingly includes what appears to be a fugue in the chorus parts! As a whole, it is easy to see why this work is not perhaps as popular as the "Requiem," but it is no less full of worthwhile things to listen out for.
The rest of the disc is made up of various church pieces, several of which are widely used as church anthems throughout England and beyond - "As the bridegroom to his chosen" and "Thy perfect love" are especially popular for their memorable tunes. Two of the unaccompanied works are quite arresting: "Come down, O love Divine," with its echoes of Herbert Howells and 'open ended' concluding cadence, and the tiny "Clare Benediction," dating from Rutter's time as Director of Music at that Cambridge College Chapel - for this, he provided his own text and the result is as potent as any large-scale choral masterpiece could be. There are also a few that are less well-known, and indeed one which has only recently been premiered - "I my Best-Beloved's am," first performed by Polyphony under Stephen Layton. These pieces (with the exception of "Praise the Lord, O my soul" and "Te Deum," which are accompanied by the same forces as in "Gloria") feature Rutter's own orchestrations, which can either heighten or ruin their effectiveness, depending upon your point of view - I was hoping to hear these with organ accompaniment, as they would be heard in a typcial church service. On the other hand, these arrangements show a fine sense of orchestral colour and demonstrate Rutter's penchant for making his music as useful as possible to all manner of performers, whether they specialise in the church or the concert platform.
Polyphony make light work of this programme. The works with organ, brass and percussion, recorded in the generous but subtle acoustics of Winchester Cathedral, suffer slightly from a poor balance: I am surprised that Hyperion were unable to save the choir from being drowned in the loudest and most climactic moments, wherein we lose not only the words but (nearly!) the voices themselves. Then again, the problem might also have been solved by augmenting the choir with extra singers - Polyphony is after all a chamber choir, whereas "Gloria" was clearly intended for choral societies with hundreds of massed voices. The anthems fare much better: recorded in the dry acoustics of a London church, supported by the small but potent forces of the City of London Sinfonia, Polyphony really get to the heart of these pieces. Stephen Layton directs well too - fast pieces are treated with vigour whereas the slower and more intimate ones are allowed to 'breathe' in a natural way that avoids sounding "hammy."
If you're approaching Rutter for the first time, I wouldn't recommend starting with this disc; the "Requiem" is a far better work to begin with. However, if you're already a 'Rutterphile,' then there is no reason to hesitate: this makes for rewarding listening.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! June 14 2001
By "dr__seuss" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Being a fan of John Rutter, I found this new recording, on Hyperion label, of the Gloria and sacred music, one of the best yet. The choir and orchestra are to be commended on the delicate and yet vibrant performance. The Polyphony choir, though only consisting of about 25 voices, produces a powerful and well rounded sound. I really enjoyed this recording and it was great to hear a few new anthems. The sound was very clear and the choir's annunciation was well articulated, so that you hear every word. I have most of his works and a great admirer of the Cambridge Singers, though I will put this Hyperion recording there, right next to John Rutter's choir. I was pleased to hear that the organ, especially in the Gloria and Te Deum could be clearly heard, but not dominating the voices or the orchestra. A very balanced sound throughout. The Wallace Collection, added to the City of London Sinfonia, gave that very `Ruttorian' brassy sound. Very impressive! This wonderful recording is a real joy to listen to. Bravo!!!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloria for the 2nd time, The Best grand recording !!! Oct. 18 2001
By jonathan ayson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This CD is highly recomended the grandeure of the work is done perfecly by the wallace collections and the polyphony itself. The most dramatic recording of anthems of rutter, happy to listen too a happy recording.
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