£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

John RUTTER (b. 1945)
Gloria (1974) [17:21]
Magnificat (1990) [39:15]
Te Deum (1988) [7:54]
Elizabeth Cragg (soprano); Tom Winpenny (organ)
The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral
Ensemble DeChorum/Andrew Lucas
rec. Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, 13-14 July, 2010 (Magnificat) and 16-17 July, 2010 (Gloria and Te Deum). DDD
Texts included
NAXOS 8.572653 [64:40]

Experience Classicsonline


This recording has been warmly received on Musicweb by Nick Barnard (in CD form) and Brian Wilson (download). Naxos already have in their catalogue excellent versions of Rutter’s Mass of the Children (review) and his beautiful Requiem (review). Now they add this collection of significant choral works. Competition is fierce in the shape of the composer’s own recordings of the Gloria and of the Magnificat - he’s also recorded the Te Deum on a disc of his shorter choral works. In addition there’s a very fine Hyperion disc by Polyphony and Stephen Layton, which includes the Gloria. However, this newcomer can more than hold up its head in this company. It also enjoys a point of differentiation over both the Rutter and Layton recordings, both of which use mixed adult choirs whereas this Naxos CD allows us to hear boy and girl trebles as well as male altos; that gives a nice edge to the choral sound.
 
The composer himself has written the booklet note and it’s a good one - he writes here at slightly greater length than he usually does for his own Collegium label. Writing of the Gloria he makes a very interesting point. The piece was Rutter’s first major overseas commission and the call came from an American choral director, the late Mel Olson. Mr Olson was very specific in his commissioning requirements and even came over to meet Rutter in the UK to discuss the proposed piece. Rutter is generous in talking of Olson’s contribution not just to the creative process around this work but also in a way that clearly influenced Rutter’s future output: “Much of the credit must go to Mel Olson … because, in telling me what he was looking for in a new choral work, he was telling me what thousands of other choral directors were looking for too.”  

That seems to me to make two key points about John Rutter’s music and about the success that it’s enjoyed over the years. Firstly, he writes music that people want to perform and to hear. Secondly, his music, though enjoyable to perform is not always as easy as it sounds: it challenges the performers without putting insuperable obstacles in their path. I sang in the Gloria some years ago: it was great fun and highly effective but it also contains several traps for the unwary, especially in the third movement. Likewise the opening pages of the Requiem are testing. And only recently I spoke with a friend of mine who has several decades of choral experience, including a stint in the Ambrosian Singers. He related that the choir with which he currently sings, which is directed by one of the UK’s well-known chorus masters, had just performed the Magnificat and he admitted that they had found some passages very tricky. So while John Rutter’s music may be engaging it should never be underestimated.
 
The present performances are splendidly assured and delivered with great enthusiasm. The Gloria and Te Deum are both scored for SATB chorus with brass, percussion and organ. The outer sections of the three-movement Gloria are really exciting here and in the final movement the quirky fugue (‘Cum Sancto Spiritu’) is tossed off with panache. The more reflective central movement features some well-taken treble and alto solos. In the lively outer movements the accompaniment is sharp and punchy, as it should be.
 
The Magnificat - another American commission - is a more substantial piece, laid out in seven movements and Rutter incorporates some other, very relevant words into the text of the canticle itself. Much of the music is buoyant and festive and all those parts are well done. However, there’s more powerful music to be found in the third movement, ‘Quia fecit mihi magna’, where the singers deliver the choral fanfares strongly. And in the fifth section, ‘Fecit potentiam’, the jazzy, slightly menacing rhythms are brought off very well. There’s an important part for a soprano soloist and Elizabeth Cragg offers some pleasing singing. Some may feel that her vibrato is a little on the rich side but she sings expressively.  

This disc contains highly enjoyable music and it sounds as if the performers were relishing the experience. Whilst the other recordings, mentioned above, are by no means displaced Andrew Lucas and his admirable St Alban’s forces offer a very valid alternative and at the Naxos price it deserves to be snapped up by a lot of collectors.
 
John Quinn 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
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.