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Macmillan: Mass & other sacred music [CD]

James MacMillan Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 14.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Macmillan: Mass & other sacred music + Macmillan: Miserere/ Tenebrae Responsories/ Strathclyde Motets (Coro: COR16096)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Martin Baker
  • Composer: James MacMillan
  • Audio CD (30 Mar 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00005AULF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,145 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. A New Song
2. Kyrie
3. Gloria
4. Alleluia
5. Sursum Corda and Preface
6. Sanctus and Benedictus
7. Eucharistic Prayer and Acclamations
8. Agnus Dei
9. Christus Vincit
10. Guadeamus in loci pace
11. Seinte Mari Moder Milde
12. A Child's Prayer
13. Changed

Product Description


This recording of James MacMillan's Mass is an intense, emotionally charged 70 minutes reflecting the composer's deeply held religious beliefs. These are beliefs which, as he has said in commenting on the mood of Mass, are not immune to doubts and fears and an awareness of the "tragedies and uncertainties of our age". So don't expect an easy listen. The music featured on this album unfolds slowly, patiently, seeming to exist outside time, yet is coloured by extremes of pitch and dynamic requiring great virtuosity and control. The Mass, which is written in Latin and incorporates priest and congregation in liturgical use, could have been written for the singers of the Westminster Cathedral Choir, who know its contours intimately. The traditional hard-edged sound of the Westminster Cathedral trebles cuts through the vast acoustic like a knife, right up until the wonderfully imaginative hold-your-breath ending of the "Agnus Dei". A range of other British cathedrals and churches boast connections with MacMillan works included here, among them St Paul's Cathedral and King's College Chapel, Cambridge. The Scottish accents of "A New Song" beguile and bewitch while the moving "A Child's Prayer" commemorates the 1996 Dunblane tragedy. Among the soloists, treble David de Winter provides some breathtaking moments in "Christus Vincit". --Andrew Green

Product Description

A New Song - Messe - Christus vincit - Gaudeamus in loci pace (orgue seul) - Seinte Mari moder milde - A Child's Prayer - Changed / Westminster Cathedral Choir, dir. Martin Baker

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars total commitment 24 Jan 2008
Format:Audio CD
This CD is marked by total commitment. The total commitment of the Composer James Macmillan, whose music remains approachable while never being a compromise. The total commitment of the choir and organist of Westminster Cathedral, whose performance is faultless. The total commitment of the recording engineers and producer , who display just the right touch: a firm but sensitive one combining immediacy and power.

The musical language James Macmillan uses for church commissions is less complex than that he uses for the concert hall, but it is no less ambitious. In the last few years he has voiced his convictions regarding church music, and so it is interesting to go back to these earlier works and find those convictions already underpinning them. In the last few years he has changed his appearance: out with the close cropped hairstyle of the sharp young artist - in with the shoulder length hair, well trimmed beard, and yes black clothes of the trendy rock priest. And what is the message the new look Macmillan has delivered? Get that rock music out of church and return to the sources of western church music such as plainchant for inspiration! I have some sympathy for his point of view. There is nothing worse than badly played music in church, but that is not a musical style issue. Certainly the composer himself makes a case for the kind of music he advocates, but how many composers of church music have the necessary gifts to bring something new out of traditional sources as he does? And how many churches have choirs who can sing this music and congregations that will join in?

It is time to let the music make its case. What is it like?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars depends if you like this sort of stuff 4 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Macmillan's music is definitely an acquired taste, and at first i was a little dubious - however after listening to it a few times, i found it grew on me. There are some wonderful haunting moments, especially in the Agnus Dei and Christus Vincit and the ending to Seinte Mari Moder Milde is magical. I would recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys modern, simplistic music, and anyone who likes listening to an excellent choir perform at the very peak of their ability, which is what Westminster Cathedral Choir do here. Listen out for David de Winter's solo in Christus Vincit - the control he has on the high notes is astonishing. Remember the name; the boy will go far
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful liturgical music 11 April 2008
By Aquinas
Format:Audio CD
This music is ecstatic, soaring music, which properly reflects the sacrality of the liturgy including the eucharistic sacrifice. I was particularly taken by the celtic resonances of "sing a new song", the Kyrie, the Brittenesque (reminded me of Peter Grimes) sound of the Eucharistic prayer, the haunting nature of the sanctus, the superb organ accompanied with occasional hints of Messiaen. This is wonderful music, underlining that modern classical music can be liturgically and spiritually relevant.
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