Christmas magpie

The New York Times’ Michael White profiles Britain’s John Rutter, whose seasonal choral pieces, such as “The Shepherd’s Pipe Carol” and “What Sweeter Music,” have made him “the composer who owns Christmas.” Of his melodic style, tailored to the amateur singers who populate most choirs, Rutter says, “[C]omposers tend to be either explorers or magpies, and I’m the latter. I’m not out to break new ground. My gift, if I have one, is to take what’s in the air and use it.”

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