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