John begins by discussing some of his most significant childhood experiences, whose influences continue to resonate in his most recent music. He also talks about his affection for his home town of Cambridge and its musical traditions, and discusses with Donald his attitude to religion alongside some of his many sacred choral works.
Music critics in Britain have often been diffident or openly hostile about Rutter's accessible style, but in the US he receives near universal praise and regard. Donald speaks to John about the musical love affair with America that has shaped so much of his career.
For much of the 1980s, Rutter struggled to continue working under the shadow of long-term illness, yet it was during this period he composed one of his best loved and most regularly performed works. John discusses with Donald the genesis of his Requiem.