John Rutter's 2011 album, The Colors of Christmas, should appeal to fans of his performances with the Cambridge Singers, the group he founded in 1981, and with which he has produced about a half dozen Christmas albums. Listeners familiar with those albums will know what they're getting here: an assortment of holiday music that includes original works by Rutter, a number of Rutter's arrangements and orchestrations of both traditional and less familiar carols, and pieces performed in their original versions. This album also includes several arrangements by other composers. The 23 tracks range from the Renaissance song Riu, riu, chiu, to standard English, American, French, and German carols, to modern classics like Leroy Anderson's orchestral Sleigh Ride and Mel Tormé's "Christmas Song." The Bach Choir sings with spirit and full, warm tone and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays with gusto. One of the most appealing tracks is an exceptionally sweet version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" arranged by Peter Knight, one of several pieces sung by the excellent male British vocal ensemble Over the Bridge.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
feat: Ralph Blane