Michael Symmons Roberts (E)
Choral level of difficulty: Level 2 (5 greatest)
Written in 2003 for George McPhee’s 40th anniversary as Director of Music at Paisley Abbey in Scotland, this piece sets another unusual text by Michael Symmons Roberts with whom MacMillan has collaborated extensively. Most of the piece is extremely simple and uses melodic and ornamental figures with which we have become familiar in other MacMillan works. There is a turning point roughly half-way when the full choir is employed for the first time and, as so often, in his music, it appears like a moment of revelation. The fortissimo cries of ’The world is rich and full’ lead to the open-ended question ‘Why was my chosen one chosen?’. Both choral and organ parts are straightforward (there is a brief division of altos and tenors) and this work makes another effective entry point for choirs looking to begin their investigation of MacMillan’s music.
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer