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Rutter: Mass of the Children / Shadows / Wedding Canticle
 
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Rutter: Mass of the Children / Shadows / Wedding Canticle

18 April 2006 | Format: MP3

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Song Title Artist
Time
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7:17
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6:47
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5:58
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9:03
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4:20
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1:35
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3:52
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2:17
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2:00
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4:55
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3:19
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2:47
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5:46
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD after being impressed by the Naxos disc of `John Rutter's Requiem. That was something of a revelation, and probably the strongest recording of that work available. This disc is far less impressive.

The Mass of the Children is a fine work. As when recording the Requiem, this Naxos version uses the chamber ensemble version of the work rather than the full orchestral version. As with the Requiem the performance is top notch, both musicians and voices. No one should expect a piece called `Mass of the Children' to be as deep or searching as a Requiem and this is indeed a lighter work. John Rutter was inspired by his experience of singing in Benjamin Britten's War requiem in 1963, but it is a lighter side of Britten's choral writing that inspires him here. The singing is perhaps nearest to Britten's `Ceremony of Carols'. If I had to sum up the style of this work in one phrase it would be `Britten goes to Broadway'. There are some lovely tunes here, starting with the opening Kyrie; the most beautiful melody is saved for the Sanctus and Benedictus, where the tune harks back to the instrumental writing of Bach and Handel. The reduced chamber ensemble accompaniment sounds ideal.

So, having praised the Mass for Children, where is the disappointment? The answer is - in Shadows, the Song Cycle for baritone and guitar which takes up 25 minutes of this disc. It is intended as a homage to 16th century Lute Songs. The opening song Shadows highlights what is wrong here. The guitar accompaniment sounds like 1960's acoustic art rock and simply doesn't go together with the full on classical singing style of Jeremy Huw Williams. As the cycle unfolds another weakness becomes apparent.
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Format: Audio CD
What can I say to do this recording justice? The two choirs (Farnham Youth Choir & Clare College, Cambridge) are just outstanding.
The music is right for any mood, and is suitably 'accessible' if you're not really sure about classical music. If you happen to be an expert on everything from Albinoni to Wagner then you will definately appreciate the qaulity of this work.
Happy listening.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very beautiful chorale piece I got this as we are singing it and I listen to it in the car or in and being very lovely piece of music I have to say on first listening the Agnis Dei was not an easy to like piece BYT the more I sung it the more I get it and like it
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