Macmillan: Symphony No. 5,

Album cover art for upc 828021617928
Label: CORO
Catalog: COR16179
Format: CD

Christophers, Harry; Davies, Ben; Dobell, Mark; Bevan, Mary; Porter, Kim; Cooper, Julie; Britten Sinfonia; Genesis Sixteen

Imagine a vision too wondrous for eyes alone – ‘the lady more brilliant than the sun’. ‘The lady’ is the Virgin Mary, and The Sun Danced is an ecstatic choral celebration of the Miracle of Fatima commissioned by the Shrine of Fatima for the celebration of the Centennial of the Apparitions in Portugal. Celebrated British soprano, Mary Bevan, features on this, the premiere recording. It’s no secret that James MacMillan’s profound religious belief drives his creativity, but music this powerful conveys a universal message, and the title of his new symphony Le grand Inconnu suggests many possible interpretations. Harry Christophers writes: ‘By calling his new Symphony ‘Le grand Inconnu’ James has given himself that freedom to explore the mystery of the subject matter and, with repeated listening, we, the listener, discover more and more within the music… From the barely audible breathing at the start of the symphony to the first forte that is so sudden and ecstatic that it produces one of those heart pounding moments. Everything is drawn together by James into a cornucopia of sheer virtuosity and brilliance.’

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