14 December 2011

Candlelight Carol -- John Rutter

I was first introduced to "Candlelight Carol" a few years ago in my choir.  I thought the harmonies were beautiful and still do.  Then the youth choir absconded with the music and did it for the next few years so that we couldn't.  Music hogs. 

I've sung several of Rutter's works over the years, including his Requiem.  The man simply writes wonderful music.  Full stop.  I recently found out that my new choral society will be performing Rutter's Mass of the Children next May, complete with a children's choir.  I'm looking forward to it.  Best of all, I'll be back to singing in the Holy Mother Latin, which I personally find a little easier to wrap my tongue around than German.  Pretty sad when you're excited about Latin, isn't it?  I'm not sure what it says about me that I'd rather sing in a dead language than a living one.  I guess I'm just more familiar with it.

But I digress.  "Candlelight Carol" was first featured on The John Rutter Christmas Album in 2002, as was another favorite of mine, the "Sans Day Carol," which I used to sing to my daughter as a lullaby.  It was her go-to song whenever she was upset about something or couldn't relax.  There is power in the Rutter, that's all I'm saying...

Candlelight Carol!  Now--with old scenes of London!

In an interesting bit of trivia, Rutter once told 60 Minutes that although he was known for writing beautiful religious music, he wasn't himself a particularly religious man (which many later took to mean he was an atheist), though he was "deeply spiritual and inspired by the spirituality of sacred verses and prayers."  In an interview with Alan MacFarlane in 2009, Rutter refers to himself as a "friend, fellow traveller, and agnostic supporter of the Christian faith."  One would never know from his music that Rutter is agnostic.

Rutter was conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music in 1996 by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his contribution to church music; similarly, in 2007 he was awarded the OBE for services to music in the New Year's Honours List.

Sources:  http://www.alanmacfarlane.com/DO/filmshow/rutter1_fast.htm

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