I love choral music. I think that voices blended in perfect harmony is the most beautiful sound on earth. And for me, there is no other music making that I enjoy more than accompanying voices. I have been lucky to accompany some great singers and choirs, and dearly hope to accompany several more. I first came in contact with choral music composed by John Rutter when I was in high school and accompanied the church choir. There was always something different about Rutter’s pieces- more complex keys (although I didn’t always appreciate playing in 5 sharps!), crunchy harmonies, lovely accompaniments and a way that the text somehow came alive through the music. I have grown to love the choral works of Rutter so much that Jeff and I included his setting of The Lord Bless You and Keep You at our wedding.
Rutter has written some amazing choral music for Christmas- music that I don’t think is known well enough. Each Sunday this month, I’m going to feature some of these amazing pieces. The first piece is a Rutter arrangement of the Christmas Spiritual, Rise Up Shepherd and Follow. While this is an arrangement (and not an original composition, as will be the rest of the music featured on Sundays), it is brought to life by Rutter’s magic and has become one of my favourite Christmas pieces.