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The John Rutter Christmas Album

The John Rutter Christmas Album


The John Rutter Christmas Album brings together most of the composer's Christmas songs and carols as well as several of his festive choral arrangements, including a rousing "Joy to the World" and the energetic "I saw three ships". Most of the 23 tracks have been taken from extant discs on Rutter's Collegium label although two, "Dormi, Jesu" and "Sans Day carol", were recorded especially for this release.


Rutter's first two published compositions, written while he was still a teenager, were Christmas pieces for choir, namely the glorious "Nativity Carol" and the infectious "Shepherd's Pipe Carol". Although very different in character, these two carols (for which Rutter also wrote the test) display the composer's sense of joy and wonder at the Christmas story. More than 30 years later, those sentiments are still there in pieces such as the melting "Dormi, Jesu", commissioned by King's College, Cambridge for the 1999 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.


Under the direction of the composer, the youthful voices of the Cambridge Singers are on sparkling form, as are the City of London Sinfonia and vocal soloists Gerald Finley and Stephen Varcoe. This album deserves to be played over and over--and not just at Christmas. --Rebecca Agnew

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