MacMillan - Stabat mater | Coro COR16150

MacMillan - Stabat mater

£12.95

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Label: Coro

Cat No: COR16150

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 3rd March 2017

Contents

Artists

The Sixteen
Britten Sinfonia

Conductor

Harry Christophers

Works

Anonymous

Stabat mater (plainsong)

MacMillan, James

Stabat mater

Artists

The Sixteen
Britten Sinfonia

Conductor

Harry Christophers

About

Few living composers communicate with the emotional directness of Sir James MacMillan and his belief that ‘beauty is at the heart of our Christian faith’ is profoundly present in his new setting of the Stabat mater. Arguably one of the most powerful poems in the liturgy, only a small number of composers have tackled the Stabat mater in the last 30 years and the musical world has waited a long time for a substantial setting. In James MacMillan’s version we are witness to a new and intensely personal work which encapsulates the power of the poem in a way no other composer has done to date.

James MacMillan’s new Stabat mater was commissioned by the Genesis Foundation for Harry Christophers and The Sixteen and is performed by them with the Britten Sinfonia, in a continuation of the ensemble’s close relationship with MacMillan.

‘James digs deep underneath the surface of this 13th century Marian hymn meditating on Mary’s suffering as she stands at the foot of the cross. He speaks of “a painful world of loss, violence and spiritual desolation” and the score is packed to the full with those intense feelings.’ - Harry Christophers

‘It was a great delight and honour to respond to The Sixteen … I regard Harry Christophers’ choir as one of the great choirs of the world and their standards of vocal brilliance and blend are unsurpassed.’ - Sir James MacMillan

Reviews

James MacMillan’s masterly Stabat mater ... [is] a devastatingly powerful evocation of Mary’s agony, balancing impassioned choral writing with equally intense, occasionally violent, work for the strings of the Britten Sinfonia. It never flinches from its purpose to bear witness to Mary’s grief and to offer a universal message of consolation to grieving mothers everywhere. Wonderfully sung; profoundly moving.  Stephen Pritchard
The Observer 12 March 2017
As you would expect from a composer whose Catholicism is such a powerful force in his creative process, this is a deeply personal setting. This is immediately evident from the impassioned, closely knit shimmering strings which create an unmistakable aura of anguish at the very opening of the work. ... We are so used to the excellence of The Sixteen that we are in danger of taking the supreme quality of their work for granted. But the closely knit choral clusters, ethereally drawn together with a remarkable unity of tone, and the intense, fervid textures, astonishingly nuanced, almost as if they are a single living, breathing entity, put them in a class of their own.  Marc Rochester (Recording of the Month)
Gramophone May 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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