Tryst for orchestra
Adam's Rib for brass quintet (world premiere)
They saw that the stone had been rolled away
I (A Meditation on Iona) (world premiere recording).
Scottish Chamber Orchestra,
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Tryst has already become a contemporary classic although The Confession
of Isobel Gowdie is MacMillian's finest piece. In Tryst, the composer
shows again his excellent gift for orchestral sonority and how he can
successfully bridge the gap between the traditional and the modern. Tryst
is in five sections which seem to embrace all aspects of William Soutar's
love poem on which it is based. In turn, the music is vibrant, intimate,
melancholy and brutal and yet always colourful and fascinating. It is a
compelling work here given a convincing performance. Anything that follows
this is an anticlimax
Adam's Rib is a work lacking coherence for this musician and stunted
by the absence of a natural flow. The music does not seem to gel and therefore
gives the impression of uncertainty.
The composer's religious faith is behind They saw that the stone had been
rolled away. It is a powerful and evocative piece with pealing
bells and a real sense of atmosphere.
I is another good piece. Stark it may be but powerful it certainly
is. The introduction of the steel drums is a tremendous moment. In the eight
sections we have depicted primitive Christianity, the desolation of Iona
and when the thundersheet is introduced we may be reminded of the awesomeness
The recording is good and the performances committed.