Ecce sacerdos magnus
was written for the Consecration of the new Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert. MacMillan notes that ‘I got to know him when he was the Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey where I would go for retreats. He is one of the holiest and most inspiring people I know’. The text (in Latin) is thus highly appropriate: ‘Behold the great priest who in his days pleased God.’ The motet is extremely simple (the vocal part is a unison melody) but is given a sense of occasion by a pair of trumpets which begin it with a chant-like fanfare in octaves.
from notes by Paul Spicer © 2013