Cambridge Singers / John Rutter

This Is the Day: Music on Royal Occasions

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This Is the Day: Music on Royal Occasions Review

by Stephen Eddins

The unifying theme behind this album is clear from its title; these are pieces that have been used in services at a variety of turning points in the lives of the British monarchy during the lifetime of Elizabeth II, including mostly weddings, but also her coronation and wedding anniversary, and the funerals of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. It's an apt tribute in 2013, the year of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of her coronation. The album offers just what would be expected of the Cambridge Singers, led by John Rutter: expert, sensitive performances of serene, comforting anthems. Even the most astringent selections, several of Britten's "Choral Dances" from Gloriana, should still fall within most listeners' comfort zone. The choir sings with its characteristic warmth, velvety legato phrasing, and technical precision. Elin Manahan Thomas brings a light, chaste soprano to two arias, Mozart's "Laudate Dominum," and Handel's "Let the bright seraphim." The repertoire is weighted toward 20th and 21st century British works, including pieces by Elgar, Walton, Britten, H. Walford Davies, Richard Rodney Bennett, William Harris, William McKie, John Tavener, Paul Mealor, and Rutter himself. Other eras and nationalities aren't neglected, though, and there are pieces by Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, and Duruflé. The album should appeal especially to listeners looking for lovely choral performances of mellow, lush, euphonious, sometimes ecstatic repertoire.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 04:28 Amazon
Vesperae solennes de confessore, K 339
2 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 04:05
3 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 05:09
Ein deutsches Requiem
4 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 05:32
5 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 07:42
6 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 03:03
7 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 03:58
8 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 02:34
9 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 01:58
10 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 05:47
11 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 05:29 Amazon
12 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 03:20
13 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 01:42 Amazon
14 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 03:01
Henry V
15 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 01:39 Amazon
Choral Dances from Gloriana
16 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 01:30
17 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 02:09
18 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 01:19
19 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 01:05
20 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 00:56
21 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 02:29 Amazon
Samson
22 John Rutter / Cambridge Singers 06:12
blue highlight denotes track pick