from Psalm 96 (E)
Choral level of difficulty: 2 (5 greatest)
This short anthem on texts from Psalm 96 is an ideal introduction to MacMillan’s choral music with its inflections of Scottish folkmusic, Gaelic Psalmody and plainsong. The choral writing is built upon drone-like pedal points, and it contrasts phrases for single voice parts with ornate contrapuntal tutti sections. It is simply constructed in ABABA form with a wonderfully positive organ postlude that ideally needs an instrument with sizeable resources to be properly effective. It has Taveneresque pedal points that are also reminiscent of bagpipe drones. The vocal parts in the imitative B sections include MacMillan’s favourite kind of vocal ornamentation - a notated quick-fire turn with varying numbers of notes.
Repertoire Note by Paul Spicer