CARL RUTTI: Requiem – Olivia Robinson, soprano/ Edward Price, baritone/ Jane Watts, organ/ The Bach Choir/ Southern Sinfonia/ David Hill – Naxos 8.572317, 55:02 ****:
Carl Rutti (b. 1949) grew up in Zug, Switzerland and studied at the Zurich Conservatory before going to England and gaining his first exposure to English choral music. He has now written an impressive amount of choral music himself, along with some pieces in other categories, and teaches at his Alma Mater Zurich.
Rutti is a master a creating rhythmically alive music that also contains a good deal of purely aural instances, glorying in the beauties of sound for sound’s sake though always within the context of a definable format. This is not avantgarde music by any stretch of the imagination, yet challenges the ears with its vibrant and often striking harmonies, infused with a profound sense of reverence appropriate to the subject matter. This requiem ends and begins with the chorus singing a cappella, because “we enter and leave life weak and alone”. But when we get to the Agnus Dei we hit passages of reflective beauty and intense spirituality, perhaps the emotional core of the work.
Rutti scores this piece, according to the desires of the Bach Choir that commissioned it (2005), as Faure in his Requiem, the full version heard here. This is intensely personal music for the composer, the memories of departed friends and loved ones in full view for all to hear. It is a fine work recorded to perfection, and will make an excellent addition to any library that needs excellent new requiems.
— Steven Ritter