MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Carl RÜTTI (b. 1949)
Requiem (2007) [55.02]
Olivia Robinson (soprano); Edward Price (baritone); Jane Watts (organ); The Bach Choir; Southern Sinfonia/David Hill
rec. St. Johns Smith Square, London, 31 January- 1 February 2009
NAXOS 8.572317 [55.02]


Experience Classicsonline

Swiss composer Carl Rütti has something of a history with English choirs. Groups like Cambridge Voices have performed much of his sacred choral repertoire. The composer himself trained in England after a period of study in Zurich and was evidently much affected by the English choral sound. Though his sound-world mixes English influences others such as jazz and blues along with his own natural French accent.
His Requiem started out as a 20 minute commission from the Bach Choir but managed to grow to a work lasting around an hour. The choir had specified that the orchestration used had to be analogous to that used for the Fauré Requiem (strings, harp and organ) in order to make the work accessible to as great a number of choirs as possible. There is also a version for organ alone.
Rütti sets the Latin text of the mass, choosing the Introit, Kyrie, Offertorium, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Communio and In Paradisum. In common with composers such as Fauré and Duruflé, he chooses not to set the Dies Irae. The soprano and the baritone soloists both have substantial parts, and they sing in all seven movements. In fact, it struck me that this might have been a deliberate ploy on Rütti’s part as it would be a way of enlarging the work without making learning it too onerous for an amateur choir.
Rütti’s writes for double choir and even in the unaccompanied sections, creates some wonderfully rich textures. Though he often uses bitonality, his style is essentially tonal and melodic. The textures and harmonies of this piece often reminded me of Howells, though Howells spoken with something of a French accent. Duruflé also springs to mind, but Rütti’s music is less drenched in plainchant. His textures, though rich, have a transparency and elegance which makes the music achingly beautiful at times.
The Introit starts the work unaccompanied, with just one solo voice. The whole piece similarly closes with a lone voice, representing the fact that we both come into and go out of the world alone. The Introit is generally a serene and beautiful movement, so it comes as something of a surprise to find that the Kyrie is far noisier, becoming an intense cry for pity with driving rhythms and substantial double chorus parts.
The Offertorium continues this mood and is the work’s longest movement. It draws on music written for earlier pieces and serves as the Dies Irae that Rütti did not write. His structure in the longer movements is often very episodic, so that the Offertorium seems to be far more extensive than the simple tripartite structure used by most composers. The composer’s own view of the work, as quoted in the notes, is sometimes at odds with what I could hear. For instance, at the end of the Offertorium the organ ‘is used to symbolize God appearing to the soul after death’. Perhaps it helps to know these things, perhaps not.
The Sanctus and Benedictus are rather lower key movements than in the Agnus Dei. Rütti reduces the scoring to just soloists, reduced strings and harp. This lovely movement is written in memory of two close friends, who were singers with Cambridge Voices. Finally the Communio and In Paradisum return to the serene mood of the opening, with the music gradually fading out, though I felt that Rütti’s multi-sectional writing in the In Paradisum, gives the music a somewhat disjointed structure.
Rütti’s Requiem has some beautiful sections. It is extremely approachable but does not talk down to the listener in the way of much popular contemporary sacred music. The music is finely crafted and receives a finely honed performance here from the Bach Choir and the Southern Sinfonia. The choir manage some of Rütti’s tricky part-writing with aplomb and sounds quite at home in his sound-world. There is very little sense of the strain of doing a premiere recording and both the choir and the orchestra relish Rütti’s textures. All is kept on an even keel with fine aplomb by David Hill, who demonstrates a strong sympathy with Rütti’s idiom and shapes the various movements flexibly. Both soloists, Olivia Robinson and Edward Price, contribute notable moments and organist Jane Watts never dominates despite the at times difficult organ part.
For anyone interested in approachable, beautiful contemporary sacred music, this work is highly recommendable. Granted, it never quite reaches either the heights or the depths of past works, but it possesses much that is lovely.
Robert Hugill


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.