Rutter: Wells Jubilate

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Rutter
LABELS: Collegium Records
WORKS: Wells Jubilate; Winchester Te Deum; O Lord, thou hast searched me out; Veni Sante Spiritus; To every thing there is a season etc
PERFORMER: The Cambridge Singers; RPO/John Rutter; John Birch (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: COLCD 135

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The Wells Jubilate is typical Rutter – brightly melodic, immediately communicative, and well calculated to bring executive satisfaction to the performers without over-stretching them technically.

Brass fanfares cap the organ accompaniment resplendently: it’s an effective opener, though perhaps the concluding Winchester Te Deum is even more stirringly celebratory. ‘Look to the Day’ (written for Cancer Research UK) is similarly tuneful and optimistic, though some may find it verges on tweeness and superficiality. 

I personally prefer Rutter in less glib and comfortable mode: ‘Lord, thou hast been our refuge’, for instance, combines a resonant part for solo trumpet with a sustained seriousness in addressing the biblical text, plumbing deeper emotions than he finds in the more cosy, extrovert settings. ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me out’ (commemorating George Guest) is similarly reflective, cor anglais this time providing the obbligato commentary.

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With Rutter himself conducting his own, outstanding Cambridge singers, these excellently recorded performances have a grip and authority hard to equal. Terry Blain