Darkness Into Light



The Music of James MacMillan

In the ancient church of St.

Giles, Cripplegate, within the Barbican Centre, the BBC Singers juxtapose some of James MacMillan's most striking recent works for choir with a number of his more significant vocal influences - plainsong, the Renaissance masters, and Scottish traditional music amongst them.

James MacMillan: Laudi alla vergine Maria

Robert Carver: Gaude flore virginali

James MacMillan: O bone Jesu

Thomas Tallis: O nata lux

Plainsong: Aeterne Rex altissime

James MacMillan: Tremunt videntes angeli

Traditional Scottish: The Cruel Mother

James MacMillan: Màiri

BBC Singers

Stephen Cleobury (conductor).


The Music of James MacMillan

Live from the Barbican Hall.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra's annual January Weekend turns the spotlight on the Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Over eight concerts from Friday evening to Sunday evening MacMillan's impressive orchestral, chamber and choral music - reflecting his Catholic faith, political convictions and Scottish heritage - will be set alongside works by some of his heroes.

Political repression in Latin America lies behind the "Sacred Songs", while the thrilling trumpet concerto Epiclesis was inspired by the symbolism of the Catholic Mass.

The power of faith is also reflected in Messiaen's work for wind and brass, which weaves together fragments of chant, birdsong and Indian music.

Presented by John Tusa.

MacMillan: Cantos Sagrados

(first London performance of orchestral version)

MacMillan: Epiclesis

Alison Balsom (trumpet)

BBC Symphony Chorus

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sir Andrew Davis (conductor).


The Music of James MacMillan

Live from the Guildhall School Music Hall, Barbican Centre.

A Deep But Dazzling Darkness, MacMillan's concerto for violin, ensemble and tape, takes its title from Henry Vaughan's poem The Night, and addresses the themes of suffering and compassion.

The music-theatre piece Parthenogenesis is the result of a collaboration between MacMillan, poet Michael Symmons Roberts, and Archbishop Rowan Williams.

It's a creation and redemption story, comparing an extraordinary event that took place in 1944 with the Annunciation and Incarnation.

Presented by John Tusa.

MacMillan: A Deep but Dazzling Darkness; Parthenogenesis

So-Ock Kim (violin)

Ruth Kerr (soprano)

Giles Underwood (baritone)

Mariah Gale (actress)

Guildhall Chamber Orchestra

Nicholas Kok (conductor)




Gould Piano Trio

The final day of the BBC Symphony Orchestra's annual Composer Weekend, focusing on James MacMillan, born in Ayrshire in 1959.

Essential miniatures by MacMillan lie alongside works by two Soviet composers who have influenced or inspired him - Galina Ustvolskaya's hard-edged ritualistic music and Alfred Schnittke's eclecticism.

John Tusa presents this concert from St Giles, Cripplegate, within London's Barbican Centre.

MacMillan: Cello Sonata No 1

Schnittke: Stille Musik

MacMillan: Piano Sonata

Ustvolskaya: Piano Sonata No 2

MacMillan: Kiss on Wood

MacMillan: 14 Little Pictures.