The John Rutter Collection
brings together 22 pieces by one of the most popular choral composers of our time, compiled from several discs already released on the Collegium Label. All performed by The Cambridge Singers, the choir which Rutter founded back in 1981, the tracks range from the joyous "Shepherd's pipe carol" of 1966 to the 1995 setting of Philip Sidney's poem "My true love hath my hear" from Birthday Madrigals
The disc opens with one of Rutter's best-known works, the timeless "For the beauty of the earth" and also includes his settings of Psalm 23 and "All things bright and beautiful"--popular with choirs and audiences alike--as well as two movements each from his Magnificat and Requiem. Most tracks are accompanied by the City of London Orchestra, breathing new life into works which are normally heard with piano accompaniment.
In his sleeve note, Rutter reminds us that he stood next to John Tavener in school choir; how extraordinary that these two boys would go on to have the international success that they have. And while Rutter will always have his detractors, one cannot help but admire the sense of joy and wonder encapsulated in each small but perfectly formed musical gem. --Rebecca Agnew