John Rutter: The Tewkesbury Collection
Designed as a celebration of one of the UK's most popular classical composers, this CD concentrates on Rutter's surprisingly wide range of church works and favours the unfamiliar over the well known. Benjamin Nicholas's well-balanced programme therefore unfolds a Rutter markedly different from the sugary Christmas carol arrangements that we all know so well. Three of Rutter's original carols are included, but it is to works such as Lord, thou hast been our refuge, This is the day (written for the 2011 royal wedding) and Wells Jubilate that this disc must command our attention. The Tewkesbury singers produce a well-focused tone throughout, though the trebles are not always free of glitches in their intonation. Special mention ought to be made of Carleton Etherington's sensitive support at the organ. Excellent liner notes and full texts.
The young trebles of Tewkesbury Abbey are a force to be reckoned with. They sing musically and fearlessly with excellent diction and a mature, warm tone.
Gabriel Jackson’s Tewkesbury Service is at the core of this outstanding performance, with Tallis providing an introit, Statham the responses, and Vaughan Williams and Howells the anthems. The psalms are sung in a wonderfully deliberate fashion (one of them to a gorgeous chant by Alcock) and with a very atmospheric accompaniment. This is a magnificent disc and I recommend it unreservedly.