‘Onto this remarkably vivid text MacMillan provides an astonishing profusion of ideas – almost too much for a single hearing – their theatrically always in-keeping with the intensity of the subject. Conveying the vision of a new Heaven and Earth, Jeffrey Skidmore drew from the performers a gloriously fervent response and in so doing proclaimed Seven Angels as powerful music.
The afternoon opened with Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning (1947) – a tour de force for mezzo-soprano and chorus setting words from the Book of Genesis. Martha McLorinan was an assured soloist, agile when required and impressive even when strident. Ex Cathedra was on superb form, pitch-perfect in Copland’s melodic angularities and rhythmically buoyant in recitations. In a piece that demands great flexibility, colour and a wide dynamic range Ex Cathedra was the perfect choice.’
Read the full classicalsource.com review of our concert of Copland & MacMillan for the Barbican, plus The Sixteen & Britten Sinfonia’s premiere of MacMillan’s Stabat Mater.