JOHN RUTTER Blessing Catrin Finch 4790497
An impressive rendition of Walter-Kune's Fantasie on "Eugene Onegin" . . . faced with such virtuosity . . . [Finch, Celtic Concerto]: what magic it was. Dispensing with the superfluities of contemporary avant-garde or autonomous experimentalism, Finch seemed concerned only with writing music that would move . . . The piece, and performance, was sonorous and humorous, radiant and intricate . . . [Rutter]: it worked well in context and was played with vivacity . . . [Suite Lyrique]: easy-listening in its most laudable form . . . well-balanced, it had a certain cinematic bent, and was completely charming (not to mention brilliantly played by all concerned). I bought the CD!
For more than a decade, Catrin Finch has been impressing audiences all over the world with her performances.
Harp fans and choral music lovers will all find something to their tastes on the latest album from John Rutter and Catrin Finch . . .
A perfect combination of Catrin's sublime harp playing complemented by flute, oboe, the lush tones of Sinfonia Cymru, and music by John Rutter. Thanks to the emotive playing in meditations on "The Lord Bless You and Keep You", and "Gaelic Blessing", the poignant lyrics from Rutter's choral classics are implicit within the peaceful music. There's something intrinsically delicate about much of Rutter's music on the album, interspersed with traditional Welsh songs. A notable highlight is "Beth Yw'r Haf I Mi", arranged by Rutter, featuring a pared back duet between the harp and the dazzlingly pure tones of soprano Elin Manahan Thomas. Catrin Finch proves her worth as a notable composer-performer as her fingers dance over the notes in the opening movement of her lively "Celtic Concerto" . . . Rutter's trademark tunes are back in his latest compositional offering, Suite Lyrique. Lovers of choral gems such as "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" will enjoy the sprightly accented passages and skipping plucked orchestral strings in the Waltz . . . Striking a beautiful balance between choral nostalgia and fresh new compositions, this album showcases the talent of today's British musicians.
. . . a must-listen for fans of choral music and harp-lovers alike . . . ["A Gaelic Blessing: Meditation"]: Choral fans will recognise Rutter's serene melody, given a beautiful reworking by Catrin Finch on the harp . . . ["Lullaby For Ana Gwen"]: Fluttering flute melodies float over gentle strings as Catrin's harp adds a touch of magic to proceedings. Beautiful . . . ["Beth Yw'r Haf I Mi"]: A special appearance from soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, whose pure tones suit this Celtic lament perfectly . . . ["Suite Lyrique: Waltz"]: the warmth of Finch's playing and Rutter's superb string arrangements are quite enough to escort you to an autumnal wonderland. Blissful, yet nimble . . . ["Suite Lyrique: Rondeau"]: A tripping 5/4 time signature gives this dance a thrilling edge and sense of precarious balance. There's also a sublime slower section in the middle of the movement that allows Finch to squeeze in some sweeping, grandiose harp chords too . . . ["A Clare Benediction"]: Deftly sung by a lone soprano, it's up to Finch to provide that sensitive accompaniment again . . .