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MacMillan: Seven Last Words From The Cross CD

5 customer reviews

Price: £13.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
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£13.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Conductor: Stephen Layton
  • Composer: James MacMillan
  • Audio CD (1 Aug. 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000A17GMY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,319 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Father, Forgive Them, for They Know Not What They Do
2. Woman, Behold Thy Son!... Behold, Thy Mother!
3. Verily, I Say Unto Thee, Today Thou Shalt Be With Me in Paradise
4. Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?
5. I Thirst
6. It Is Finished
7. Father, Into Thy Hands I Commend My Spirit
8. On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin - James Vivian
9. Te Deum - James Vivian

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Aquinas on 11 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
MacMillan has a wonderful inner understanding of sacred music, informed (I assume) by his Catholic faith. The Seven Last Words from the Cross are stunning, a brilliant admixture of old and new.

Track 3 (Verily, I say unto thee, thous shall be with me in Paradise) derserves a particular mention. The "ecce lignum crucis" (proclaiming darkness) is stunningly interwoven with the thrice proclaimed acclamation of "venite adoremus". Its the "venite adoremus" with its wafting neo-romantic violin solo and Brittenesque strings (reminding me very much of the famous quartet in Peter Grimes: "do we cry or do we weep" and perhaps of Brahms)that grabs you: how can this be so, how can we have crucified the "Son of Man" - the shock of it all is ironically captured more decisively through the most delicate and gentle of music although the horror is also captured in other movements through the strings (echoing Bartok).Be warned: this is a real tear jerker!

The last movement captures the death of Christ beautifully with the life draining slowly from his body, depicted through intermittent glistening of strings.

The Te Deum (last track) strongly recalls Britten.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By richard.md.scott@hotmail.co.uk on 19 Mar. 2008
Format: Audio CD
MacMillan's Seven Last Words is one of the most truly brilliant pieces of modern music I have ever heard. Each movement is full of profoundly beautiful music and the way he combines modernist sounds with gorgeous tonal harmonies is very unique. The spirituality in this piece is very sincere and fantastically powerful, even to a non-believer like me.
The other two shorter pieces are not in quite the same league as the first, but I did love them too.
The performance here is impeccable. Polyphony are stunning in every recording I have heard of them, and the Britten Sinfonia too.

A musical and spiritual transubstantiation (MacMillan's words, not mine...) And, like I say, I cannot commend it enough! See for yourself...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Harvey on 14 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I purchased this disc, never having heard any of Macmillan's music, so wasn't sure what I was letting myself in for. I was completely blown away.

'Seven Last Words' is a beautiful piece of music for chorus and string orchestra.

Macmillan's music is a mixture of simple harmonies overlaid with dissonances. Spiky strings play against slow moving vocal lines, stratospheric strings and soprano voices weave together. Stand out moments for me were section three and the spine tingling setting of the words "venite adoremus", section six where strident chords represent the nails being hammered into the cross and section seven's instrumental postlude with the strings fading away into nothingness.

Influences? I was reminded of Pärt and Tavener, but this is no slavish imitation; Macmillan is his own man with his own distinctive voice.

A wonderful accessible work.

The recording and accompanying booklet are up to Hyperion's usual high standards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By margaret on 4 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
This music hurts - deliberately so, I think. On one level one can enjoy its programmatic effects - the anguish of "My God, my God...." the smell of the dust and the heat and the blood in the hair-raising buzzing of the flies shown at the end of "I Thirst," and many others. But it goes deeper than that. It has huge meaning for the Christian, who could easily use it as a Holy Week pilgrimage, but even for the other- or non- religious, it evokes the darkness and misery of human suffering while also allowing the magnificence of the human spirit to shine through.

This is not stuff to sing along to in the shower. It is serious work, but with not a lot of effort, it is gloriously worthwhile.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Preston-dunlop on 17 Oct. 2005
Format: Audio CD
The previous incarnation of this CD was the first I made for Poyphony. It was deleted from the catalogue and I was extremely happy to be part of its remake. The music is superb, and stands alone, but Sid and my colleagues bring out the best in it.
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