Macmillan: Symphony No.3; Etc.
The premiere at the 1990 Proms of 'The Confession of Isobel Gowdie' was a key event in the history of modern British Music. In a brave piece of programming, the work was placed in a popular Saturday evening concert alongside more conventional repertoire. To everyone's amazement, MacMillan's work was greeted with a warmth and intensity rarely experienced in Britain after the death of Benjamin Britten. The work's success brought a realization: that it was possible for a modern composer to address an audience with the emotional directness and narrative power of Tchaikovsky, Mahler or Shostakovich without sacrificing his contemporary 'edge'.