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On April 18th, Naxos will release a new recording of John Rutter’s Mass of the Children (2002-2003) featuring the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and Timothy Brown with the Farnham Youth Choir, Clare Chamber Ensemble, soprano Angharad Gruffydd-Jones, baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, and organist James McVinnie. Also included are the song cycle Shadows (1979), performed by Williams and guitarist Stewart French, and Wedding Canticle (2004).  Rutter himself produced the CD, joining the same group that made the Naxos recording of the composer’s Requiem (8.557130), released in 2003, such a huge commercial and critical success.

Mass of the Children, written as an outlet for amateur children to perform with adult professionals, includes both Latin texts and Thomas Ken’s hymns for Winchester College.  The piece is scored for adult and children’s choirs, soprano and baritone soloists, orchestra, and organ.

Shadows is John Rutter’s only song cycle to date.  Paying homage to the tradition of lute song, the theme of the eight 16th- and 17th-century poems is the transient, dream-like quality of life.  Wedding Canticle is a setting of Psalm 128 and was written for Tim Brown as a present to mark his 25th anniversary as Director of Music at Clare College.

John Rutter was born in London in 1945. He began composing while studying music at Clare College, Cambridge and became Director of Music at his alma mater in 1975.  He left in 1979 to pursue his career as a composer with greater focus, becoming best-known for such choral works as his Requiem (1985) and Magnificat (1990).

In 1980, Rutter was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton.  In 1988, he was made a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians and, in 1996, was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate of Music by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

John RUTTER: Mass of the Children; Wedding Canticle; Shadows

Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown
Farnham Youth Choir, Clare Chamber EnsembleAngharad Gruffydd-Jones (soprano), Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone), Stewart French (guitar), James McVinnie (organ)



John RUTTER: Requiem and Other Sacred Music

Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown
City of London Sinfonietta
Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano), Nicholas Rimmer (organ), Nicholas Collon (organ), Karen Jones (flute)



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