The works on the CD comprise the most beautiful 21st century choral compositions I have heard. The Miserere in particular is incredibly beautiful. The Sixteen under Harry Christophers are in fine form as usual.
I've enjoyed much of James MacMillan's work since I first heard Isabel Gowdie. I don't share his religious convictions at all but I recognise he is powerfully motivated to write music of meaning and beauty. This collection is a fine set of works. I lent it to a friend who needed some solace and he found it deeply moving and asked me to get him a copy. The recording quality is excellent, with good balance and soundstage. It would be a nice intro to MacMillan's work.
This CD was advertised in the December copy of "Gramaphone", and, since Macmillan is a composer I've long thought I should become acquainted with, I boughti it. I'm really pleased with it : the singing is superb, and the music is outstanding! You think you're listening to a "classical" miserere, then the music takes an unexpected direction . There's a slight shock to the system, and then pleasure . I was expecting jangly, discordant , "difficult" music, and instead found beautiful harmony.I'm going to buy more of this composer's work!
The expression of Macmillan's motet settings is, in my opinion, unparalleled in contemporary composition, and this recording by The Sixteen couldn't convey it better. The title piece, Miserere, is sensitively performed without losing a dramatic edge, and the Strathclyde Motets are full of character. A fantastic purchase, highly recommended!