Related Reviews
International Record Review
‘All of the music on this disc is characterized by its intelligence and forward-looking beauty…’
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BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
‘[ mihi…] is properly timeless isn’t it? Those celtic ornamentations he uses, and this choir is so good at that as well now. They are very beautiful…’
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BBC Music Magazine
Choral & Song Choice: 'A marvellous set of performances.'
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Classical CD Review
‘The composer’s intricate ensemble writing is beautifully performed by the superb chorus, and the engineering richly captures the warm resonance of Church of Holy Rude, Stirling, UK.’
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MusicWeb International
'The music is stimulating and compelling and the performances are first rate.'
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'Cappella Nova have a particularly white, straight sound which shows off the bone-structure of these exquisite motets, poised somewhere between beauty and anguished intensity.'
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Choir & Organ
5 Stars
'... such intensity...'
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Le Scena Musicale
'MacMillan is a champion virtuoso of church space.'
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'Strong engineering and a smaller, well drilled choir both assist his music...'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'They bring control and precision to the ecstatic, incantatory nature of MacMillan's work...'
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Cappella Nova - Alpha & Omega -

22 January 2014

...The highlight here is MacMillan's conducting of his own Missa Dunelmi, a compressed Mass (four movements lasting 20 minutes) that lies well within the vocal ranges of chorus members and hits the right notes both musically and emotionally...Other than the Mass, only Invocation has been recorded before: the six remaining pieces will be genuine discoveries for those interested in MacMillan and in modern religious music for chorus, since all are world premières on disc. St. Patrick's Magnificat, mihi..., Cum videsset Jesus, I am your Mother, Domine non secundum peccata nostra ('Lord, do not pay us in kind for our sins', best known in César Franck's setting), and Alpha & Omega are all heartfelt works, paeans to God or prayers of hope...with their frequent resemblance to plainchant effectively brought forth and Madeleine Mitchell's violin in Domine non secundum peccata nostra adding a particularly nice touch. MacMillan's works are determinedly old-fashioned and will be especially appealing to listeners interested in a modern composer's adaptation of forms that were already well-established in Bach's time.
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