Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance


We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


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 

















































































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

Pat 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.