Even though not an Anglican Christian, but from a Pentecostal background, I really like this cd. Rutter has a special gift of letting the music go very well together with the texts of his anthems (old well known texts like Be thou my vision and St. Francis' prayer, or Psalms from the Bible). I find these songs suitable both for accompanying a contemplative mood at home as for a special occasion at Church e.g. a wedding. This album is a compilation of previous recordings of the Cambridge Singers varying from the 1980's to 21st century recordings. All of them sounding as good as if they had been recorded yesterday.
I sought a recording of Rutter's beautiful hymn, "Wings of the Morning", after we sang this lovely tune in church, and this was the only CD I could find that contained it. This collection includes many of Rutter's church hymns recorded over a period of 20 years performed by The Cambridge Singers and conducted by the composer. Ergo, these performances must be considered definitive.
Many of Rutter's popular hymns are included here. "O be joyful to the Lord" and "All things bright and beautiful", a popular children's hymn done here by adults, follow "Wings of the morning" on tracks 5-7. Others you may have performed in church represented here are "O clap your hands", "Lord make me an instrument of your peace", "For the beauty of the earth", "Look at the world" and "The Lord bless you and keep you" among the 21 assembled hymns.
While The Cambridge Singers, on their Web site, identify themselves principally as an a capella group, I was pleased when I received this CD to find all the hymns supported by a full orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia. The renditions are uniformly lovely although some listeners may find a bit of white singing lacking brilliance and individuality. I listened to several of those from my scores and everything is done in keeping with Rutter's markings and style.
The recording tends to be a little variable given the 20-plus year difference in performances. The most recent copyright listing is 2003, the same year "Wings of the morning" was published. I don't hear an appreciable difference in that recording than the others but still hear some age in older works.
If you seek a Rutter hymn collection you can't go wrong here. You have wonderful performers mated to the composer in his more popular works. I'd recommend this without reservation to anyone.
This is an excellent CD from start to finish and one of the best recitals of church music I've heard in a long while; it will inspire and lift the spirit. I bought this CD to listen to A prayer of Saint Patrick as our choir is practising it and I found it a great help in sorting out my part. Definitely one to have in your collection
The items on this CD are all beautifully written and executed. Each setting is based on scriptural words and the mood of each is perfecly captured. The orchestration enhances the feel of each piece and is beautifully played in every case. This is an uplifting collection of Rutter's music which will give much pleasure to all.
Beautiful music from John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers, yet again. I bought this one as a replacement for the one I'd lost and it was so good to listen to it again - just about my favourite, I think! For all seasons, which makes it particularly valued.