MacMillan’s first percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel was premiered to immediate acclaim by Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, at the BBC Proms in 1992. It swiftly established itself in the repertory of frequently performed new works, achieving over 500 performances worldwide to date. The work is in one continuous movement and is based on the Advent plainsong of the title. On one level the piece is a purely abstract work in which all the musical material is drawn from the 15th-century French Advent plainchant. On another level it is a musical exploration of the theology behind the Advent message, but with a liturgical detour to the Easter Vigil at the very end.
The solo percussion part is available to download here