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Hyperion Records

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Angel by William Morris (1834-1896)
Courtesy of Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67867
Recording details: June 2010
Wells Cathedral, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 5 minutes 17 seconds

'Wells Cathedral Choir gives a compelling survey of choral pieces by one of Britain's most important composers … MacMillan's musical voice remains breathtakingly distinctive and true. This disc is a worthy recorded tribute to a truly significant figure in contemporary music. Highly recommended' (Choir & Organ)

'The Wells singing is of a consistently high standard (MacMillan's trademark use of melisma is particularly well assimilated) and organist Jonathan Vaughn delivers a scintillating account of Le tombeau de Georges Rouault, the magnificent solo piece which ends this absorbing programme' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Here is another splendid release of recent British choral music from the choir of Wells Cathedral and its superb director Matthew Owens … the choir is, in a word, magnificent. Singing with impressive self-assurance and clearly revelling in MacMillan's uncanny ability to make everything sound perfectly natural even when the technical skills involved are extraordinarily demanding' (International Record Review)

On Love
First line:
When Love beckons to you, follow him
composer
1984; solo treble + organ; composed for the wedding of Steven and Clare McEvanney and first performed by Barbara Kelly and MacMillan
author of text
from The Prophet; 1923

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
On Love was written in 1984 for a wedding in the chapel of the Catholic Chaplaincy to Edinburgh University, where MacMillan was a student at the time. He writes: ‘On Love was written for a couple of friends [Steven and Clare McEvanney] for their wedding, and was sung at their Nuptial Mass by the bride’s sister [Barbara Kelly], with me, a student at the time, vamping along on the organ.’ It is a beautifully lyrical piece which sets words—aptly a homily on love—from The Prophet (1923) by the Lebanese poet and writer Khalil Gibran. It is interesting to see so much of MacMillan’s ornamental writing in place so early in his career. The organ part is full of gently figurative writing which is set against the beautiful simplicity of the solo vocal line. The piece grows in intensity and dynamic all the way to the climax right at the end.

from notes by Paul Spicer © 2011

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