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Piece of the week (December 1st 2014)

This week’s piece is Christus Vincit by the Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Youtube Link

I have chosen it because some of us are going to see the UK premiere of  his St Luke’s Passion at the CBSO this coming Thursday.

It was written in 1994 to be performed on St Cecilia’s day in St Paul’s in London. Listening to this piece you can imagine the soaring melismas and lush harmonies echoing through the resonant spaces of a grand cathedral. Being a devout Catholic, MacMillan’s religious music has a reverence and beauty that resonates even with miserable old atheists like me. His other music is worth exploring as well, particularly The Confessions of Isobel Gowdie and Veni, Veni Emmanuel, which are probably his most famous.

The text for Christus Vincit translates as follows:

Christ conquers
Christ is King
Christ is Lord of all