If John Rutter's lush, maximalist textures and gigantic string-laden compositions and arrangements move you, this collection of orchestral pieces certainly will be your cup of tea (herbal, of course). In his vocal works, Rutter occasionally uses instrumental restraint so as not to distract from the power in his message. But here, the stops are out. Aside from the rather impressionistic title cut, the rest of the pieces here are multi-part suites or "meditations." The "Five Meditations for Orchestra" work the best since each section concentrates on different chromatics and dynamics, showcasing different aspects of the ensemble in relation to a theme. The four-part "Suite for Strings" centers around traditional tunes from the British folk vernacular, and the "Suite Antique for Flute, Harpsichord and Strings" is a fine setting for the older instrument in a modern context. Only the sugary, overtly sweet and hopelessly drawn-out romanticism of his three-part "Beatles Concerto for Two Piano and Orchestra" falls flat on its face.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
|Five Meditations for Orchestra|
|Suite for Strings|
|Suite Antique, for flute, harpsichord & strings|
|Beatles Concerto, for 2 pianos & orchestra|