• Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • View Our YouTube Channel
  • Listen on Spotify
  • View our scores on nkoda
Music Text

tract for Ash Wednesday (L)

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

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

Digital Score
Subscribe to nkoda

World Premiere
St John's College, Cambridge
Margaret Faultless, violin / Choir of St John's College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha
Repertoire Note

Choral level of difficulty: 2 (5 greatest)

Another unusual combination of solo instrument with choir as with A child is born also written for (or first performed by) St John’s Cambridge. The mood is perfect for the start of Lent, serious, thoughtful and thought-provoking. The violin’s different roles – background arpeggiando figures, foreground strong pizzicato chords and longer solo leading into the final repeat of the first section gives the piece a sense of development through its rondo shape but ultimately leaving the choir with the last word.

The choral writing here is undemanding although the singers need to be well-prepared for the start of the final reprise following the violin’s solo. But ending on a D and the first chord being an open D-A-D chord the problems are more of confidence than of a lack of aural information.

Stylistically, there are no surprises here and devotees of MacMillan’s music will recognize the familiar fingerprints (grace notes, chant, ornamentation) and know how they are dealt with.

Repertoire note by Paul Spicer

Recommended Recording

The Elysian Singers/Sam Laughton
Signum SIGCD575

Buy this CD from Amazon


Stay updated on the latest composer news and publications