for SATB and organ
This moving and prayerful arrangement of the well-known traditional song was written in memory of Nelson Mandela. Rutter treats the melody in simple yet varied ways, with a mixture of unison and four-part choral textures, into which the organ is gently interwoven. The piece reaches a dynamic and emotional peak in the fourth and final verse, before a quiet and reflective ending.
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.