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J Rutter – Feel the Spirit & A Vivaldi – Gloria
23rd June 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
John Rutter was born in London 24 September 1945. Rutter grew up living over the Globe pub on London’s Marylebone Road. He was educated at Highgate School where fellow pupils included John Tavener, Howard Shelley, Brian Chapple and Nicholas Snowman, and as a chorister there took part in the first (1963) recording of Britten’s War Requiem under the composer’s baton. He read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the choir. While still an undergraduate he had his first compositions published, including the “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol” which he had written aged 18. He served as director of music at Clare College from 1975 to 1979 and led the choir to international prominence. In 1981, Rutter founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts and with which he has made many recordings of sacred choral repertoire (including his own works), particularly under his own label Collegium Records. He resides at Hemingford Abbots in Cambridgeshire and frequently conducts choirs and orchestras around the world.
In 1980, he was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music. In 2008, he was made an honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple while playing a significant role in the 2008 Temple Festival.
Feel the Spirit is a cycle of seven familiar spirituals expertly arranged by John Rutter for mezzo-soprano solo, mixed choir, and orchestra or chamber ensemble. Equally suitable for concert, school, or church use, the vivid and expressive arrangements can be performed individually, or as a complete cycle that showcases the rich heritage of the spiritual. The work brings new life to such well-loved titles as Steal away, I got a robe, and When the saints go marching in and has two accompaniment options: full orchestra or chamber ensemble.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and priest. Born in Venice, the capital of the Venetian Republic, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons.
Many of his compositions were written for the all-female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children. Vivaldi had worked there as a Catholic priest for 1½ years and was employed there from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for royal support. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi’s arrival, and Vivaldi himself died, in poverty, less than a year later.
Gloria (RV 589). This is the best known setting of the Gloria, simply known as the Vivaldi “Gloria” due to its outstanding popularity. Vivaldi wrote at least three settings of the hymn Gloria in excelsis Deo, whose words date probably from the 4th Century and which is an integral part of the Ordinary of the Mass. This piece, along with its mother composition RV 588, was composed at the same time during Vivaldi’s employment at the Pieta. The Glorias remained in a relatively unknown status, until RV 589’s revival by Alfredo Casella during “Vivaldi Week” in Siena (1939), along with the composer’s setting of the Stabat Mater (RV 621). RV 589 enjoys well-founded popularity, performed at many sacred events, including Christmas.
Conducted by Richard Cock.