Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
Carl Rutti was born in 1949 and grew up in the Swiss town of Zug. After studying organ and piano in Zurich he moved to Britain where he developed an interest in English choral singing. He has produced a steady stream of religious music including the carol "I Wonder As I Wander" which has been broadcast several times from King's College, Cambridge. "His Requiem" was a commission from the Bach Choir and was completed in 2007. Part of the composer's remit was to make the piece accessible to as many choirs as possible so it was scored in the same way as Faure's Requiem: for strings, harp, and organ. The first performance was by The Bach Choir under David Hill, with the Southern Sinfonia, Jane Watts (organ), Katherine Fuge (soprano), and Edward Price (baritone) and, with the exception of the soprano soloist, this is the line-up for this premiere recording which enables the performers to exhibit their confidence in what they are doing. The new soprano is Olivia Robinson who does a grand job, as indeed, does Mr Price. Naxos always uses the inside of the CD case as an advertising board along the lines of "If you enjoyed this recording why not try. . ." For this release they promote Finzi, Howells, and Rutter which tells us in which idiom Rutti is working: twentieth century English choral. I catch an echo of Tavener as well (which is praise) and any listener who enjoys modern choral music is advised to check out this recording. The musicianship is first rate and the sound quality excellent, produced by Adrian Peacock from sessions at St John's, Smith Square, London early in 2009. Perhaps one day it will rival Faure's Requiem for popularity. This reviewer sees no reason why it should not.
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