A PASSIONATE COMMITMENT
ROBERT HUGILL talks to
Bach Choir conductor David Hill
about Carl Rütti's new Requiem
In 1976 Carl Rütti, a young Swiss musician studying in London, attended services at the Brompton Oratory. It was the beginning of a love affair with the English choral tradition. Since then Rütti has written works for a number of English choirs including Norwich Cathedral, Cambridge Voices and Kings College, Cambridge. Now his latest work, a Requiem, is being premièred by the Bach Choir, conductor David Hill, at Winchester Cathedral on 16 February 2008 with a subsequent performance on 1 March at Douai Abbey, near Reading.
The Bach Choir has always had a tradition of performing contemporary works -- after all, Vaughan Williams was its conductor for eight or nine years -- and has been particularly active in this field during the last ten years. This is due to the enthusiasm of current conductor David Hill. Hill, who joined the choir in 1998, has a passionate commitment to the creation of new music. He feels that new work is central not just to music but to the arts in general, and that it is important that the voices of new artists be heard.
Hill has collaborated with a number of composers over the years, and Carl Rütti's English connections meant that Hill was not unfamiliar with Rütti's music. He feels that not only does Rütti admire British choral traditions, but that he writes for voices in a sympathetic but exacting way; he has a real understanding of how voices work. Rütti brings to this music a mid-European voice, mixing French and German influences.
Hill feels that Rütti's is not easy music, but that it is well worth the work. The Bach choir is rising to the challenge of singing Rütti's new work. The singers love doing new music and the feeling that they are helping to create something new; they respond to the excitement of appearing in a first performance.
Copyright © 31 January 2008
Robert Hugill, London UK