Polyphony, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Stephen Layton (conductor)
John Rutter composed his Requiem in 1985. The work follows the precedents of Brahms and Fauré in using carefully selected texts in place of much of the standard Missa Pro defunctis sequence. The resulting composition has an arch-like formal structure within which is contained some of Rutter's most haunting (and, in the case of The Lord is my shepherd, well known) choral music to date.
Also included are two items from the Birthday Madrigals collection composed in honour of the jazz pianist George Shearing, and eight further sacred works. The double-choir Hymn to the Creator of Light is a wonderful composition, far removed from the romantic style with which Rutter has sometimes been associated; the work here receives its first recording. The Lord bless you and keep you makes a most felicitous ending to the programme—one of those tunes that just will not leave your head.