> RUTHERLYN The Churchill Music [PS]: Classical Reviews- May2002 MusicWeb(UK)






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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Norman Harvey RUTHERLYN (1934-)
The Churchill Music

Czech National Symphony/Vladimir Valek
available from: This England, PO Box 52, Cheltenham, GL50 1HT. £8.50


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.

Philip Scowcroft


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