Surrey-born Norman Harvey Rutherlyn (1934-) is an amateur
composer and admirer of Sir Winston Churchill. He founded the Churchill
Society in 1990.
This musical tribute was composed between 1965 and
1973 and was part orchestrated by RCM graduate Derek Barnes but was
only performed in full (in the Czech Republic) in 1995. The music, about
an hour of it (although it is not complete here) is, as one would expect,
uneven. Of its eleven sections, those covering Churchill’s various wars
– which include recordings of machine-gun fire, air-raid sirens, etc
– are, to my mind, the least effective.
The Churchill March, played in Westminster Abbey
for the 40th Anniversary of the ending of the last war, is
rousing enough if, lacking in individuality. The best sections are the
first two (Cradle Days and Nursery Days), the Blenheim
Romance in which Churchill proposes to Clementine and two movements
from the "Chartwell Suite", all of which are well in
the British light music tradition.
The recording is serviceable; for many this release’s
curiosity value may outweigh its uneven invention.