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Hi Fi Review (Hong Kong), September 2016

Rutter’s Psalmfest is one of his eight major choral works, as good as “Cantate Domino” & “O how amiable are thy dwellings”. © 2016 Hi Fi Review (Hong Kong)

Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, September 2016

The St Albans choirs sound small alongside the Royal Phil, but there’s nothing wrong with their singing. Rutter has been accorded richer sound from Naxos when he himself has been on the podium, but these results are certainly acceptable. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Christopher Nickol
Gramophone, July 2016

The excellent singing of the St Albans Cathedral choirs combines brightness of sound with crystal-clear diction. The two soloists are also very good, …The singers are well matched by the brilliantly executed accompaniments of the RPO, whose splendid playing highlights Rutter’s colourful and glittering orchestration.

…an enjoyable CD, with a happy union between the enduring words of the psalms and Rutter’s equally timeless, evergreen music. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Michael Quinn
Choir & Organ, July 2016

Revised to incorporate soprano and baritone soloists, John Rutter’s Psalmfest, a collation of nine psalms first assembled in 1993, makes its belated debut on disc here in fine, liquescently melodic performances with much to recommend them. With evocative contributions from organist Tom Winpenny and Mike Allen’s trumpet, the St Albans choral forces and RPO players respond with illustrous, perfectly apportioned relish to Rutter’s signature lyricism. Three stand-alone psalms, the effusive This is the Day, contemplative Lord, Thou hast been our refuge and rousing Psalm 150 complete an attractive, beautifully recorded recital that will greatly please fans of Rutter and fine singing. © 2016 Choir and Organ

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2016

…the amassed choirs, soloists, and orchestra give us an exceedingly beautiful reading of the work. …The “Psalmfest” (1993) and the related shorter works “This is the Day” (2011), “Lord, Thou hast been our refuge” (2008), and “Psalm 150” (2002), all included here, are a joyful, ecstatic group of works that shine brightly thanks to the beautiful singing of the St Alban Choirs and the nicely articulated orchestral performances, and of course the poetic joy of the Psalms of David.

The music is very moving and I respond to these performances readily and most pleasurably. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, June 2016

This disc is full of attractive music and the performers acquit themselves very well indeed. It’s nice to hear a mix of trebles and girl sopranos on the top line—the two distinctive timbres marry well—and also the astringency of male altos. All the choral singing is excellent while the instrumental accompaniments are colourful and incisive.

This highly enjoyable disc is a fitting memorial to a fine musician. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review, May 2016

Andrew Lucas leads the performers, vocal and orchestral alike, with determination, a fine sense of pace, and sensitive awareness of Rutter’s orchestral colorations and rhythmic contrasts. And the disc is filled out with material that, far from being “filler,” further shows Rutter’s skill in handling psalm settings for special occasions. © 2016 Read complete review

David Vernier, May 2016

The performances by the St. Albans Cathedral Choir and Royal Philharmonic are first rate. Soloists may be variable in quality, but no one can question their commitment to Rutter’s music. Rutter acolytes will already be on to this, an exemplary collection that celebrates a composer whose work throughout his career has reflected the message of these psalms: hopeful, expectant, upbeat. © 2016 Read complete review

Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, May 2016

John Rutter holds a controversial place within religious music: probably he is a spokesperson for the new situation of the Catholic religion created by its Popes, who have stripped themselves of their charisma and have come down among the people to speak the same language of hope and joy of believers. Psalmfest and compositions of David’s psalms reflect the alternative style built by Rutter for choral music: condensed popular motifs in a musical structure that launches flashs of the cantatas of Bach or Schubert’s lieder and of the instrumental outgrowths of the Russian ballet of the early twentieth century, and sends us a joyous spirituality that has its strong point in the deepening of its apparent simplicity. © 2016 Percorsi Musicali

Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine, May 2016

Darker harmonies and more equivocal moods are explored in this setting, and conductor Andrew Lucas rises splendidly to the challenge…

…professionally executed by the St Albans forces, …the sound is warmly atmospheric. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine

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