<< -- 2 -- David Thompson Spiritual mysteries
But a sense of mystery informs the whole work. In brief, MacMillan achieves
not simply a setting of sacred words, but an evocation of Catholic liturgy,
ceremony and architecture, much as John Tavener does within the Orthodox
tradition, though more succinct, and none the worse for that.
The shorter works are equally evocative. The disc opens with a setting
of joyful words from Psalm 96: O sing unto the Lord a new song. The
vocal setting is distanced and restrained, (angelic, perhaps?) but the affirmative
organ peroration leaves us in no doubt that God is praised on earth as well
as in heaven [listen -- track 1, 3:36-4:40].
The single work for organ, Gaudiamus in loci pace is very much
the distinctive voice of MacMillan, but it inhabits and evokes the same
world as Messiaen's Le Banquet Celeste, complete with birdsong-like
pipings above the basic chant. Intentionally or not, we are reminded of
another great musical explorer of spiritual mysteries [listen
-- track 10, 0:00-0:59].
All the music is performed to perfection -- by which I mean that we are
allowed to experience the larger spiritual dimensions the composer evokes
-- by the Westminster forces under Martin Baker. Hyperion give us all we
have come to expect of them in terms of engineering and presentation. James
Whitbourn's notes are excellent. This is a great recording of what, I dare
to suggest, will come to be recognised as great music.
Copyright © 17 February 2002
David Thompson, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - HYPERION CDA67219
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
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