for SATB (with divisions) unaccompanied I my Best-Beloved's am was written in 1999 for a BBC Singers broadcast concert on the theme of the Seven Sacraments. This a cappella anthem focuses on the theme of marriage - setting the nuptial responses from the old Tridentine Catholic marriage service and stanzas from Francis Quarles's poetic paraphrase of the Song of Solomon - but, as the Song of Solomon is often understood as symbolic of the love between Christ and his Church, is also suitable for use throughout the Church year. Gregorian chant is the prevalent musical influence, and the male and female voices are offset against each other in an effective contrast.
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.