(NYT) John Rutter, The Composer Who Owns Christmas Image

It is the sort of English village that you might find on Christmas cards: a medieval church, a placid river, thatched cottages, swans. So it’s no great surprise that it is also where you can find John Rutter, a composer so identified with Christmas that he has all but earned a place with the kings and shepherds by the manger.

He lives here in a manor house, where he composes carols that are sung throughout the English-speaking world: It’s almost inconceivable these days for a carol concert not to feature at least one of Mr. Rutter’s modern classics. But it sometimes bothers him that their ubiquity devalues what he writes for other times of year.

“I used to think that was a problem,” Mr. Rutter said, surveying from his kitchen window the absurdly perfect village he calls “idyllic, if a bit Miss Marple.” He worried that people wouldn’t take his other music seriously. “But I’m not unhappy to be associated with Christmas: better than famine, flood or war,” he said.

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Posted in Christmas, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture