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Mass of the Children

and other sacred music

The Cambridge Singers | Cantate Youth Choir | City of London Sinfonia | Joanne Lunn (soprano) | Roderick Williams (baritone)
John Rutter (conductor)

CD: £14.00
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Rutter's Mass of the Children was written in response to a desire to compose a work that would bring children and adults together, in the same way that performances of Britten's War Requiem had done for him when a school chorister. In five movements, the work has rapidly been taken up by choirs the world over. Also on the album are several previously unrecorded anthems and motets.

Joanne Lunn soprano
Roderick Williams baritone

Audio learning guides are available for the following pieces, from ChoirGuides

A Clare Benediction
Look at the world

I will sing with the spirit

Track list

  1. Mass of the Children: Kyrie
  2. Mass of the Children: Gloria
  3. Mass of the Children: Sanctus and Benedictus
  4. Mass of the Children: Agnus Dei
  5. Mass of the Children: Finale (Dona nobis pacem)
  6. Look at the world
  7. To every thing there is a season
  8. Wings of the morning
  9. A Clare Benediction
  10. I will sing with the spirit
  11. Musica Dei donum
  12. I my Best-Beloved's am
  13. Come down, O Love divine

“The performances are excellent, the Cambridge Singers fresh-toned and sensitive to direction, the City of London Sinfonia playing with skill. And, whatever else might be said about Rutter’s music, it is expertly written to bring out the best in singers and players alike, both amateur and professional” Gramophone

“I can’t believe anyone investing in this disc will regret it. It is already on my shortlist of Recordings of the Year.” MusicWeb International

“…a performance of real distinction…” Church Times

“Composers who infuse new material into the Mass are probably reacting, in part at least, to the oddly pear-shaped form it acquires when removed from a liturgical setting.  If this was on John Rutter’s mind while composing his Mass of the Children last year, then he has admirably succeeded in filling out the later stages of the rite: in this case, with texts by Baled and Lancelot Andrewes. Thomas Ken’s morning and evening hymns neatly top and tail the proceedings, while echoes of Britten and Mahler, homages to the tradition of adult writing for infant voices, are comfortable reference points for the ear.  Bright, tuneful and rhythmically alert, the performance matches the character of the music. Restrained yet pointed scoring in the Mass and in various shorter, occasional pieces fits the quite intimate and sleek delivery of the Cambridge Singers, so accommodating to recorded sound.” BBC Music Magazine

“John Rutter’s childhood experience of singing Britten’s War Requiem has inspired the composer to add to the repertoire of works integrating children’s chorus with adult choir – a very worthy cause. With a simple orchestral accompaniment Mass of the Children is grounded in typical Rutter territory: pretty melodies and lilting rhythms create music that is both accessible and memorable.” Choir & Organ

“…Into the Agnus Dei of the Mass, Rutter incorporates two prayers (by Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, and after the fifth-century St Patrick’s Breastplate), and also, aptly, William Blake’s poem The Lamb.  The entire Mass is framed by the (here magically sung) morning and evening hymns by Thomas Ken, the Non-Juring Bishop of Bath & Wells. There are inspired moments in Rutter’s orchestration, but easily the best sequence comes late on, where he sets Ken’s hymn Glory to thee, my God, this night for children’s voices, in startling rhythmic counterpoise to the full chorus. Here was Rutter at his best…” Church Times

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