New Jerusalem review – ‘nothing less than exhilarating’

‘theatricality lies at the heart of this blistering music, not least the sight and sound of the two trumpeters, doubling on fearsomely primitive shofars, high in the organ gallery. But the real drama lies in MacMillan’s pungent, visceral response to the euphoric spirituality of the text: the ominous, restive pallor of the low-strung harp/cello opening; the harrowing juxtaposition of luscious choral writing against the shock-and-awe artillery of vocalised wailing, whistling and “clicking” of locusts; the spine-chilling rude awakenings of the angel trumpet blasts; but mostly the composer’s uncanny ability to mould literal and figurative complexity in genuinely simple terms.

‘The performance, within a broader programme, by the beautifully homogenous Ex Cathedra under Jeffrey Skidmore, was nothing less than exhilarating.’

Read the full review at The Scotsman.

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