on 9 December 2012
MacMillan wrote this piece for Evelyn Glennie, so this recording's pedigree speaks for itself. It opens with a tremendous cacophony from the orchestra - shrieking brass and woodwind with Glennie fiercely lashing her huge battery of percussion. The mood calms a bit as the work moves though its 8 sections, with some lovely string writing in the Gaude, Gaude and a beautiful Coda - Easter, which opens with the orchestra at full blast again, and with Glennie hitting her drums ferociously, but the orchestra quickly withdraws, leaving her to end the work on a serene note with shimmering bells. There are echoes of The Rite of Spring here, and though it's a very crude comparison, I'd say that if you like Stravinsky's piece you'll be able to assimilate MacMillan's. It's definitely a work that repays repeated listening.