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“The simple theme on alto flute and clarinets with which the work began was clothed in myriad orchestral colours, culminating in a huge climax which subsides before a somewhat Taveneresque final touch - a celestial treble underpinned by solo cello sings the 12th- century Hymn to St. Magnus and a related 14th century plainsong on which the passacaglia has been based. Thus, the composer reveals his basic materials at the very end of the work, in a similar way to his Strathclyde Concerto No. 4 for clarinet in which the Scottish theme that forms the basis of the work's material appears at the Concerto's conclusion. . . . The conclusion to the piece is the most moving example of Maxwell Davies's art since the finale of the Sixth Symphony; clearly the inspiration of George Mackay Brown touches this composer profoundly, with deeply affecting results.”
-Tempo Magazine [UK]

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