John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers, Farnham Youth Choir, Royal Philharmonic Orch - A Christmas Festival

Published Monday 22nd September 2008
John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers, Farnham Youth Choir, Royal Philharmonic Orch - A Christmas Festival
John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers, Farnham Youth Choir, Royal Philharmonic Orch - A Christmas Festival

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 50089-14752
LABEL: Collegium COLCD133
RELEASE DATE: 2008-11-29
RRP: £13.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

There is no composer currently alive who has been more closely associated with Christmas music than John Rutter. For more than 30 years his seasonal choral music has gained him an international following. This major new album of over a dozen new compositions and arrangements together with Rutter's selection of favourite carols was recorded at London's Cadogan Hall and is the first all new Christmas release from Rutter's celebrated Cambridge Singers for 20 years. Accompanying the superb choir are the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and with contributions from the Farnham Youth Choir this is an album with a sales potential far, far beyond the average choral release. The Cambridge Singers are indeed in fine voice and bring to light the soaring melodic cadences of the new Rutter works like "Rejoice And Be Merry", "New Year" and "I Wish You Christmas". His new arrangements are strong too though there's only so much he could do with an over-jolly melody like "Nos Galan (New Year's Eve)", better known to you and I as "Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly". Having said that, the haunting Appalachian carol "I Wonder As I Wander" and the quite beautiful "The Shepherd's Carol" are two of the finest examples of Christmas music you'll hear this or any year.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. O Come All Ye Faithful [Listen]
2. Guadette (Rejoice) [Listen]
3. The Shepherds Carol [Listen]
4. Nos Galan (New Year's Eve [Listen]
5. I Wonder As I Wander [Listen]
6. Ave Maria [Listen]
7. Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day [Listen]
8. Rejoice And Be Merry [Listen]
9. El Noi De La Marc (The Son Of The Virgin) [Listen]
10. A Christmas Overture [Listen]
11. Born On A New Day [Listen]
12. Magical Kingdom [Listen]
13. Mary's Boy Child [Listen]
14. Esta Noche (This Night) [Listen]
15. Sleigh Ride [Listen]
16. The Virgin Mary Had A Baby Boy [Listen]
17. New Year [Listen]
18. I Wish You Christmas [Listen]
19. Hark The Herald Angels Sing [Listen]
20. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Reader Comments

Posted by Chris in UK @ 15:24 on Sep 15 2010

Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band have done some wonderful new Christmas music as well. I've never heard of John Rutter or the Cambridge Singers before but I'd like to give them a listen. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of the traditional Christmas music and the not-so traditional but I love hearing new compositions too.

Posted by Ciara in Virginia @ 23:44 on Oct 30 2008

thank you for writing this article. I'm doing a paper on John Rutter and your article helped me to find the words I was looking for!

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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