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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'
‘[...fiat 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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MusicWeb International
'The music is stimulating and compelling and the performances are first rate.'
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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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Gramophone
'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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InfoDad.com
'...fine sound that complements excellent performances by Cappella Nova.'
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AllMusic.com
'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 - Le Scena Musicale


10 January 2014
Le Scena Musicale

Nobody does church like James MacMillan. Every year, as Christmas nears and a Mass or Magnificat of his lands on the deck, the composer contrives to surprise, bending the harmonic line out of the blue like David Beckham in his prime, while staying true throughout to a traditional sacred format.

MacMillan himself directs his Missa Dunelmi, with Alan Tavener leading Capella Nova for the rest of the concert. It is recorded in the challenging acoustic of the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling. The sound though, as you'd expect on a label run by a high-end hi-fi manufacturer, is exemplary - wondrously atmospheric and worth the album price on its own if you've got new speakers to show off to envious friends.

Madeleine Mitchell pops up with a stunning violin solo, which she plays more like country fiddler than concert soloist, filling in the harmonic hills and valleys while the vocals curl upwards into the roof beams. MacMillan is a champion virtuoso of church space. 
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