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MacMillan: Mass & Other Sacred Music / Baker, Reid, et al

Album Summary

>MacMillan, James : A New Song, for chorus & organ
>MacMillan, James : Mass, for 2 basses, chorus & organ
>MacMillan, James : Christus vincit, for treble, chorus & organ
>MacMillan, James : Gaudeamus in loci pace
>MacMillan, James : Seinte Mari moder milde
>MacMillan, James : A Child's Prayer, for treble, chorus & organ
>MacMillan, James : Changed, for chorus & organ
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"This fine concert of James MacMillan's choral music from Westminster Cathedral Choir eloquently confirms the composer's profound belief in the Catholic Faith... The Mass is beautifully judged. Delicious choral effects in the Ordinary, a hypnotic atmosphere in the plainsong-inspired Alleluia and heartfelt devotion in the prayers and acclamations intened for the celebrant and congregation deliver the liturgical message with persuasive realism... a disc that should not be missed." -BBC

'From the moment this CD begins, the senses tingle with the magical, spiritual nature of the music' (The Sunday Herald)

'This music, the Mass in particular, is virtually guaranteed a passage into the central repertoire of choirs around the world; it could hardly have had a better springboard than this recording' (International Record Review)

'A busy railway carriage is probably not the ideal environment in which to listen to James MacMillan's music. But the fact that it transported me to another place is proof of the power of his music' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Anyone familiar with the ambience of Westminster Cathedral from the sound of the choir and organ to the pungent scents of wax polish and incense will feel at home immediately and it is difficult to imagine this music sounding as good in any other place. Highly recommended, these performances of this powerful music will repay concentrated listening and repetition' (Organists' Review)

'A programme of exceptional quality and interest, which no genuine lover of cathedral music should ignore' (Cathedral Music)

'Powerful liturgical music from one of today's most admired composers, performed with passionate intensity' (Gramophone)

'It is hard to think of any recent music that conveys religious ecstasy as intensely as James MacMillan's Mass... music of high voltage from first to last... the singing of Westminster Cathedral Choir is electrifying' (The Guardian)

'Performances throughout are exceptionally fine and the recorded sound radiantly atmospheric' (Gramophone)

'A sublime disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Outstanding performances.Gaudeamus in loci pace is a breath-catching bonus' (HMV Choice)

'Long life to James MacMillan and a plentiful supply of pens and ink' (Fanfare, USA)

'A striking issue well worth the investment of all interested in recent choral literature' (American Record Guide)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
MacMillan's choral music is more often than not a direct response to his own Christian faith. The Mass recorded here was commissioned by Westminster Cathedral for the 'Glory of God in the Millennium Year of the Jubilee' and unlike MacMillan's two previous Masses, which were composed for congregational use, was specifically written for performance by a professional choir. It's through-composed and this provides a sense of structure, continuity and flow that greatly enhances its accessibility when heard out of context - on disc rather than celebrated. That MacMillan intended the Mass for practical use is apparent by his choice of vernacular rather than the Latin text. His often eclectic style is very much in evidence; the score glimmers with echoes of Howells and Duruflé, especially in the Kyrie and in his often quasi-orchestral organ writing, but in general it's MacMillan's individual voice that shapes this impressive and deeply felt setting. The Gloria contains some particularly effective music, not least some marvellously atmospheric organ writing, and the crepuscular Agnus Dei lingers in the mind long after the final notes die away. Of the remaining works on the disc, A New Song and A Child's Prayer (dedicated to the victims of the Dunblane tragedy) stand out as particularly fine examples of MacMillan's choral writing. As a bonus we're treated to the wonderfully translucent organ solo Gaudeamus in loci pace, beautifully performed by Andrew Reid. Performances throughout are exceptionally fine, the recorded sound radiantly atmospheric. A must.



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Works Details

>MacMillan, James : A New Song, for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Ensemble: Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>MacMillan, James : Mass, for 2 basses, chorus & organ
  • Performers: Jonathan Brown (Organ); Robert MacDonald (Bass); Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Ensemble: Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>MacMillan, James : Christus vincit, for treble, chorus & organ
  • Performers: David Winter (Treble); Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Ensemble: Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>MacMillan, James : Gaudeamus in loci pace
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1998

>MacMillan, James : Seinte Mari moder milde
  • Performers: Clifford Lister (Cantor); Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Ensemble: Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>MacMillan, James : A Child's Prayer, for treble, chorus & organ
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Ensemble: Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>MacMillan, James : Changed, for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Andrew Reid (Organ)
  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Ensemble: Westminster Cathedral Choir
  • Notes: Westminster Cathedral, London, England (07/10/2000-07/13/2000)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary