JAMES MACMIL­LAN: SINCE IT WAS THE DAY OF PREPA­RA­TION . . .

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - MICHAEL DERVAN

Brind­ley Sher­ratt (bass), Syn­ergy Vo­cals, He­brides En­sem­ble ★★★★ Del­phian DCD 34168

Ro­man Catholic com­poser James MacMil­lan here fol­lows his St John and St Luke Pas­sions with a work that moves into the pe­riod after the Cru­ci­fix­ion. Since it was the day of Prepa­ra­tion . . . (2012) lasts more than 70 min­utes but calls for just 10 per­form­ers, a bass solo in the role of Christ, a vo­cal quar­tet, and an un­usual quin­tet (de­ployed with great acu­ity) of clar­inet, horn, harp, the­o­rbo and cello, each in­stru­ment also given a ca­denza-like solo in­ter­lude. The Scot­man is never shy about re­veal­ing in­flu­ences. The stylis­tic gamut of the mu­sic is wide, but there’s real nar­ra­tive thrust in this at­mo­spheric, of­ten con­tem­pla­tive set­ting, made grip­ping in a con­sis­tently fer­vent per­for­mance. url.ie/fhig

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