Boosey & Hawkes Composer News

Search Catalogue

MacMillan, James: Sowetan Spring (1990) 11'
for wind band


3fl(III=picc).ob.CorA.Ebcl.3Bbcl.Eb alto cl.Bb bcl.2bn.2Eb asax. 2Bb tsax.Eb barsax-4hn.6tpt.2trbn.bass tbn.2ttuba.2tuba.db-timp. perc(4):4congas/SD/cyms/metal wind chimes/2timbales/tam-t/2tom-t/3susp/cym/BD

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Winds of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra / John Paynter

Composer's Notes

I have for many years been fascinated by the music of the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and especially by his handling of antiphonal hocketing effects. So much so that I have been tempted into writing a hocket of my own on a number of occasions. A hocket opens this work, Sowetan Spring, but the antiphonal separation is not a spatial one but based on timbral differences. Another difference is that this hocket is not the basis of a static minimalist process but develops through interaction with other materials into a more dramatic scenario.

This is a special BASBWE (British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles) Commission, to mark Glasgow’s designation as The Cultural Capital of Europe in 1990, with funds provided by BASBWE (Scotland). Sowetan Spring was written to commemorate the release from prison of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 and uses fragments of the South African people’s national anthem Nkosi Sikelel’ I Afrika.

James MacMillan

Reproduction Rights
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer

Email Newsletters

Sign up for news updates and offers via email

Audio Visual Gallery

Explore our library of 1500 online scores