Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Simon Smith, piano /
These two short pieces celebrate my devotion to football and in particular, my love of Glasgow Celtic. "25th May 1967" is dedicated to Jim Craig, for some time my dentist, and more recently, a new friend, but more importantly, Celtic's right-back on this day when the team won the European Cup in Lisbon. It is a brief flourish of boyish delight (I was eight years old at the time).
The second piece is dedicated to the current Celtic captain, Neil Lennon, who played an important role in the team's most memorable European campaigns since 1967. I felt moved to write this little gift piece for him because of the pressures that have been put upon him, as a Celtic player, from Northern Ireland, and to remind him that he is greatly revered by many, in spite of the sectarian abuse he receives from other quarters. It is reflective and intimate, with the lilt and accent of an Irish folk song.
© James MacMillan
This programme note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer