This Sunday (October 24), the Sanctuary Choir will sing the transcendent Requiem by John Rutter as part of Music Sunday. In keeping with October’s worship theme of Prayer, we offer this as a prayer for all souls lost during the pandemic and as consolation for those left behind. The choir, with Deborah Selig, soprano soloist, will be joined by an ensemble of harp, flute, oboe, cello, timpani and keyboard.
John Rutter’s thoughts on his Requiem: “The Requiem was written in 1985 and dedicated to the memory of my father, who had died the previous year. In writing it, I was influenced and inspired by the example of Fauré. I doubt whether any specific musical resemblances can be traced, but I am sure that Fauré’s Requiem crystallized my thoughts about the kind of Requiem I wanted to write: intimate rather than grandiose, contemplative and lyric rather than dramatic, and ultimately moving towards light rather than darkness – the “lux aeterna” of the closing text. The composition of the Requiem was interrupted by other commitments and by illness. The first complete performance took place in October 1985 and no one, least of all the astonished composer, could have predicted the flood of performances which continued ever since. For me it stands as a clear sign of humanity’s quest for solace and light amidst the darkness and troubles of our age. Art, Andre Gide said, must bear a message of hope – a message which is embedded in the age-old texts of the Requiem Mass, and also in the Burial Service, some of which I have interpolated into the structure of the work, using the incomparably resonant and glorious version from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.”