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Track(s) taken from CDA67867

On Love

First line:
When Love beckons to you, follow him
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

William de Chazal (treble), Jonathan Vaughn (organ)
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

Cover artwork: Angel by William Morris (1834-1896)
Courtesy of Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London


'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 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

On Love a été composé en 1984 pour un mariage à la chapelle de l’aumônerie catholique de l’Université d’Édimbourg, où MacMillan faisait alors ses études. Il écrit: «On Love a été composé pour deux amis [Steven et Clare McEvanney] pour leur mariage, et chanté à leur messe de mariage par la sœur de la mariée [Barbara Kelly], avec moi, j’étais étudiant à l’époque et je plaquais des accords à l’orgue.» C’est une pièce merveilleusement lyrique qui met en musique des paroles—comme de juste une homélie sur l’amour—du Prophète (1923) du poète et écrivain libanais Khalil Gibran. Il est intéressant de voir déjà affirmée si tôt dans sa carrière une telle part de l’écriture ornementale de MacMillan. La partie d’orgue regorge d’une écriture doucement figurative confrontée à la magnifique simplicité de la ligne vocale soliste. Dans cette pièce, l’intensité et la dynamique augmentent en permanence jusqu’au point culminant juste à la fin.

extrait des notes rédigées par Paul Spicer © 2011
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

On Love entstand 1984 für eine Hochzeit in der Kapelle der katholischen Hochschulgemeinde an der Universität Edinburgh, wo MacMillan damals studierte. Er schreibt: „On Love entstand für ein befreundetes Paar [Steve und Clare McEvanney] zu ihrer Hochzeit und wurde bei der Brautmesse von der Schwester der Braut [Barbara Kelly] gesungen, während ich, damals Student, dazu an der Orgel improvisierte.“ Es ist eine wundervoll lyrische Vertonung eines Textes—passenderweise einer Predigt über die Liebe—aus The Prophet (1923), einem Buch des libanesischen Dichters und Schriftstellers Khalil Gibran. Es ist interessant, dass sich so früh in MacMillans Laufbahn schon so viele Elemente seines ornamentalen Stils zeigen. Der Orgelpart ist voll dezenter Figurationen, die die wunderbare Schlichtheit der Sologesangslinie unterstreichen. Intensität und Dynamik des Stücks steigern sich bis zu einem Höhepunkt ganz am Ende.

aus dem Begleittext von Paul Spicer © 2011
Deutsch: Arne Muus

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