MacMillan: Tenebrae - Cappella Nova - The Observer

William Byrd produced his greatest work in a time of religious persecution. While James MacMillan wouldn't claim that composers today face the same dangers, he does believe that secular fundamentalism is growing as a counterpart to religious fundamentalism, preventing discussion of spiritual matters. These marvellous, astringent new works - his ‘Tenebrae Responsories', ‘Strathclyde' motets and a reworking of his youthful ‘Missa Brevis' - are in part a reaction to the current atmosphere and offer eloquent ripostes to those who would denigrate sincere belief.

The Observer
28 October 2007