- Distant Land (A Prayer for Freedom), for chorus - John Rutter - John Rutter - John Birch - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rolf Wilson - Rolf Wilson - Andrew Nicholson - Andrew Williams - Andrew Williams
- Five Meditations for Orchestra - John Rutter - John Rutter - John Birch - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rolf Wilson - Rolf Wilson - Andrew Nicholson - Andrew Williams - Andrew Williams
- Suite for Strings - John Rutter - John Rutter - John Birch - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Andrew Williams - Rolf Wilson - Rolf Wilson - Andrew Nicholson - Andrew Williams - Andrew Williams
- Suite Antique (for flute, harpsichord & strings) - John Rutter - John Rutter - John Birch - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rolf Wilson - Rolf Wilson - Andrew Nicholson - Andrew Williams - Andrew Williams
- Beatles Concerto, for 2 pianos & orchestra - John Rutter - John Rutter - John Birch - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Rolf Wilson - Rolf Wilson - Andrew Nicholson - Paul A. Schaefer - Peter Rostal - Andrew Williams - Andrew Williams
John Rutter: Distant Land: The Orchestral Collection
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.
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I enjoyed five Meditations for Orchestra.
I was fortunate to be in Great Britain when this album was released. I have listened to it over and over again. As a music teacher I've heard so much music and it has always been difficult for me to have a favorite. This album however has become my all time favorite. I was struck by the simplicity of the melodic line and the richness of the harmony. The thematic lines are both soaring and introspective. This music went deep into my soul, stimulating and tantalizing my intellect. This is one of the few albums I have chosen to listen to over and over again. To move from Distant Lands, through the English folk song melodies and on to the Beatles Concerto is a wonderful musical ride. The Five Meditations for Orchestra and the Suite Antique help to make this truly an album to listen to and hear instead of just "nice background music". I was thrilled to engage my brain for listening, this isn't popular fluff. Rutter has proved himself as a superior orchestral composer as well as the superior choral musician/composer that he is.
Lush orchestrations of Rutter compositions; if your a fan of his compositions you will definitely enjoy this CD!