Alpha & Omega: Choral Music by James MacMillan
Madeleine Mitchell (violin)
Cappella Nova, Alan Tavener & James MacMillan
Cappella Nova make James MacMillan's Missa Dunelmi sound much easier to sing than it is, and that's a compliment...Perhaps it helps having MacMillan himself directing: it's interesting his default... 5/5 BBC Music Magazine
After its 'undeniably beautiful' (The Financial Times) Linn debut and its ‘excellently performed’ (Fanfare) follow up, Cappella Nova releases a third volume of choral works by the leading contemporary composer, James MacMillan.
Of the eight works performed here, six receive their premiere recording (only Missa Dunelmi and Invocation have been previously recorded).
Cappella Nova has enjoyed a twenty five year association with MacMillan; many premiere performances later the choir has established an intuitive response to his work and a passion for his creativity which is evident on ‘Alpha & Omega’.
This recording is made particularly special because Missa Dunelmi is conducted here by the composer; founding director Alan Tavener lends his enthusiasm and expertise for the remaining works.
James MacMillan provides illuminating and fascinating insights into his work in a conversation with Rebecca Tavener included in the booklet note.
They are joined on ‘Alpha & Omega’ by violinist Madeleine Mitchell described by The Times as ‘one of Britain’s liveliest musical forces and foremost violinists’.
Cappella Nova’s previous recordings, ‘Tenebrae’ and ‘Who are these Angels?’ were both named in Gramophone as ‘Editor’s Choice’ albums; the latter also received several five star reviews.
Cappella Nova is ‘famous for its performances of contemporary music’ (The Guardian), having commissioned and premiered more than 60 new works including James MacMillan’s cantata for Holy Week Seven Last Words from the Cross (1994), which was the subject of seven short films for BBC2 TV.
MacMillan’s international career was launched at the BBC proms in 1990 with The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. Since then his music has been programmed extensively at international music festivals.
Cappella Nova has an unrivalled reputation as champions of Scotland’s unique treasury of early vocal music.
Highlights over the past thirty years include winning a Glenfiddich Living Scotland award for their groundbreaking performances of Scottish early music and performing in the presence of HM The Queen.
MacMillan, James (b.1959)
MacMillan: …fiat mihi…
MacMillan: Alpha & Omega
MacMillan: Cum vidisset Jesus
MacMillan: Domine non secundum peccata nostra
MacMillan: I am your Mother
MacMillan: Missa Dunelmi
MacMillan: St Patrick’s Magnificat