for SATB and organ/chamber orchestra
Commissioned by Graham Ross for the choir of Clare College, Cambridge, this joyous yet reflective Christmas carol will appeal to both choir and audience. It is characterized by a soaring melody, an artful use of texture, and a gentle expressiveness, heightened by modal inflections and the organ accompaniment. The text, written by the composer, is inspired by an inscription in Durham Cathedral by the Venerable Bede: 'Christus est stella matutina'.
John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and studied music at Clare College, Cambridge. His compositions embrace choral, orchestral, and instrumental music, and he has edited or co-edited various choral anthologies, including four Carols for Choirs volumes with Sir David Willcocks and the Oxford Choral Classics series. From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College, and in 1981 he formed his own choir, the Cambridge Singers. He now divides his time between composition and conducting and is sought after as a guest conductor for the world's leading choirs and orchestras.