The glorious choral sound of The Sixteen captivates and inspires Sir James MacMillan – and his latest major work for them is the climax of this special concert. In the first half the composer himself conducts Tryst – one of the very first pieces he wrote for the SCO back in the late 1980s. Inspired by his folksong of the same name, this is a showpiece that the Orchestra has performed to great effect all over the world.
For MacMillan, “beauty is at the heart of our Christian faith” and his new Stabat Mater is sure to be profoundly shaped by his beliefs. But this is a work with deep roots and a universal message. The Stabat Mater is a celebration both of tradition and of radical renewal.
Composer insights: 6.30pm
Sir James MacMillan introduces his Stabat Mater in conversation with Svend Brown.
This concert forms part of a month-long celebration of recent works by Sir James MacMillan in partnership with the BBC SSO, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Hebrides Ensemble and Glasgow Life.
Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.
Harry Christophers is known internationally as Founder and Conductor of The Sixteen as well as a regular guest conductor with many of the major symphony orchestras and opera companies worldwide. He has directed The Sixteen choir and orchestra throughout Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific region, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque and 21st-century music.
Now in its 35th year, The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. Comprising both choir and period-instrument orchestra, The Sixteen’s total commitment to the music it performs is its greatest distinction. A special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance, bringing fresh insights into Baroque and early Classical music and a diversity of 20th- and 21st-century music, is drawn from the passions of Founder and Conductor Harry Christophers CBE.