COUNTRY LIFE MAGAZINE:
John Rutter, probably the most oft-performed living composer, has
written some 60 non-Christmas pieces, including the respected Requiem,
but itâs his misfortune or, perhaps, blessing that he is chiefly
associated with carols. Most music heard this month will be credited âarr.
John Rutterâ and his Shepherdâs Pipe Carol, written when at Highgate
School, has sold more than one million copies in sheet music alone.
And this charming, friendly man remains philosophical about his
pigeon-holing. âChristmas has been the golden thread through my
musical life, but I have gone through periods of rebellion,â he
admits. âI felt it made it harder to be taken seriously as a composer,
but Iâve come out the other side.
The carol is the oldest vernacular form of music and an art form that
British composers have made their own.â Critics have occasionally
dismissed Mr Rutterâs melodic, touching style of writing and arranging
as âtoo accessibleâ or âsweetâ; many more, however, find it a relief
from self-conscious contemporary works. Again, the contemplative and
courteous Mr Rutter is phlegmatic. âI think the same proportion of
current music will endure as before, which is about 10%.