I’m crooning happily along to “Open Mine Eyes” by John Rutter. IMHO, one of the most beautiful vocal composers I have ever had the opportunity to hear/perform. His work has a great expression and clarity that I prefer to even the old classics. (Give me Rutter over Mozart any day. I’m not fond of what Mozart does with choirs, in general. A few of his thinsg floor me, but percentage wise I’m iffy about Mozart.)

I read recently about a Doper treating herself to tickets to Verdi.

And now, some questions:
So what other beautiful composers do Dopers listen to? Has anyone else heard of Rutter?

I dunno…depends what mood I am in. But for my money, Copland and Gershwin are two of my absolute favorites.

I’ve gotta go with the traditional guys: Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Bach, a touch of Liszt, with a splash of Rossini and a twist of Tchaikovsky. Add Gershwin, Gottschalk, and Mendelssohn to taste.

Copland, Gerswin, Bernstein, Griffes, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Morton Gould, even Schoenberg and Hindemith. Being a reed player (clarinet & sax mostly) I guess I go more for instrumental stuff…but, while I tend to stay away from the “minimalists” (such as P. Glass), I’ll listen to just about anything, from Orlando di Lasso and the Bach family to ALWeber and Tim Rice.

Oops…forgot to answer your question…I have heard of Rutter…guess I’d throw David Willcocks in there too.

Beethoven, Tchaikovski, Bach, Rossini, Gershwin (I like his popular stuff, too). Benjamin Britten, but only because he was a friend of my family (he could have been a very close friend, but my father didn’t swing that way).

Normally, I’m a real headbanger, but classically, my tastes run to Wagner. Man, that dude really was the Angus Young of his day, wasn’t he?

I’m into Mozart and Beethoven (my current CD that I listen to all the time is Beethoven’s 9th symphony). I also like John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman, and Hans Zimmer on the movie front.

Not exactly what you’d call “beautiful” music, but Karlheinz Stockhausen is still one of my favorite composers.

Depends on the mood, and sometimes the book I am reading (I’ll put on something that fits the mood or country of the book).

I listen to a wide variety of composers - my CD library contains Glass, Faure, Puccini, Vaughan Williams, Bartok, Penderecki, oh, let’s just say, most of the composers and pieces I studied in college music history and theory classes.

Mostly I listen to a lot of the Austrian and German composers - Strauss, (Johann and Richard), Mahler**, Hugo Wolf, Wagner, Berg, Webern, Beethoven, Bach, Weill, et al.

**(mmmmmmmmmmmm, Mahler, swoon - except for the Kindertotenlieder, reallllllllllllllly depressing.)

Aaron Copland is by far my favorite, but I also enjoy Tchaikovsky immensely, as well as Mozart.

Arvo Part. His release titled “Tabula Rasa” is simply the finest CD I’ve ever heard, and has been for the last 10 years.

For sheer beauty, Ravel and Debussy, especially their orchestral music. Other choral composers - Randall Thompson, Leo Sowerby, Vaughn Williams.

I forgot to mention Gustav Holst. Check out his “Hymns from the Rig Veda”, groups 2 and 3 (which are for women’s chorus).

I have and like Rutters Requiem, but I think as a composer he lacks depth. It is pleasing to the ear but not more than that (imho). For modern composers that provide a little more depth try Part (indeed), Tavener (some of his work at least), Gorecki’s 3d symphony (yeah, it was hyped, but it is still a moving composition), or if you want something a bit more adventurous Takemitsu.

My personal all-time preference is JS Bach first, and then after some distance Brahms (especially his chamber works - except for his string quartets), Mahler, Schubert, Dvorak, Shostakovich, Mozart, Sibelius, Debussy, Beethoven.

Also give Faure’s requiem a try as you like Rutter.

Phillip Glass, Richard D. James.

— G. Raven

Not familiar with him. Can you provide a little more info - where from, preferred genre (symphonic, vocal/choral, chamber, names of pieces, particular recording label)?

Out of respect to the OP, I’ll refrain from posting my opinion of John Rutter. To be charitable, I’ll agree with Dragon Phoenix, both about Rutter and about trying the Faure Requiem (as well as some of his other choral music). You might also try the Durufle Requiem, although I always think it sounds too much a copy of the Faure. I’m not a fan of the Gorecki 3rd, though (although that Dawn Upshaw…mmmmm, what a voice when it’s “on”).

Choral music-wise, I’m a late convert to the oratorios of Elgar (particularly The Dream of Gerontius), and Pergolesi has a way with a phrase that makes me wonder what he would have done if he hadn’t died at 26.

In general, I listen to lots of different composers – Part, Rautavaara, Walton, Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Messaien, Lassus, Britten, Holst, Beethoven, Schubert (instrumental music – I don’t like the lieder, alas), Glass…whatever suits the mood, really.

You should check out Rutter conducting Fauré’s Requiem. His version is more in keeping with the original orchestration - more intimate, and less overtly romantic in character. Faure wanted to write a piece that dealt more with the Peaceful Rest aspect of death as opposed to the Day of Judgement viewpoint. This is probably my favorite classical choral piece - it’s just a beautiful work, and the Sanctus is truly ethereal.

You should also try out Monteverdi’s Sestina. Another work having to do with death, yet quite lovely. IIRC, it’s about a man standing at the tomb of his lover. Anything Monteverdi is bound to be good in fact.

Oh, and for something completely different try Dufay’s L’homme armé. This is pre-Baroque, so it may take some getting used to - I found myself longing for a cadence the first few times I heard it, but eventually found myself enjoying how the voices seem to endlessly intertwine around each other. As an aside, it’s amazing how many people claim to love classical music but don’t know anything pre-Bach except possibly Gregorian chant.

Also, try out Purcell and Dowland for solo voice too, and the group Anonymous Four.

  1. Nothing you’d consider composers, but that’s mostly due to lack of space on my PC for the songs and lack of an internet connection to get said songs.

  2. Yes. We did a few pieces of his in high school. Mostly Xmas-type stuff. And no, I don’t remember the names, though “He has come in piece . . . like” is part of one of the verses.