for mixed voices (SATB div) & organ
Text: English (Psalm 105 and Robert Herrick)
This work was commissioned by the Friends of Cathedral Music to mark their Diamond Jubilee in 2016, with the intention of performance by as many of the affiliated choirs as possible.Naturally, a celebratory anthem was envisaged but with a text that is general enough to allow its performance throughout the church's year.The opening section features a joyful, energetic setting of the first five verses of Psalm 105 (King James Version). A contrastingly quiet and gentle passage follows, the text being Robert Herrick's (1591–1674). The opening material then returns, with a short, ecstatic organ postlude bringing the piece to its conclusion.
Born in Scotland in 1959, James MacMillan studied at Edinburgh and Durham Universities and now lives in Glasgow. His early successes as a composer in the 1990s included The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, premiered at the BBC Proms, and the percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel written for Evelyn Glennie. MacMillan has a special interest in choral composition, ranging from simple liturgical settings for use in church services, to major works for choir and orchestra including Seven Last Words from the Cross, Quickening and St John Passion. His music has been championed and recorded by leading choirs and vocal groups including Cappella Nova, Polyphony, The Hilliard Ensemble, The Sixteen, Westminster Cathedral Choir and the Netherlands Chamber Choir. With their Gaelic inflections and characteristic mixing of ancient and modern, his works have also proved popular with amateur chamber choirs around the world.