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St. Luke Passion CD

MacMillan St. Luke Passion CD

Live recording of the world premiere performance of James MacMillan's St. Luke Passion, co-commissioned by SDG, from the Concertebouw in Amsterdam.

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Netherlands Radio Choir
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
National Youth Choir
Markus Stenz, conductor
2015 Challenge Classics
Duration: 01:12:59
Super Audio Hybrid CD

 

"A performance which is always compelling and occasionally electrifying. ... full-blooded and scintillating playing."—Gramophone

Following James MacMillan's sensational St. John Passion (2007), the St. Luke Passion, co-commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, is the second Passion to be completed by the renowned Scottish composer. In contrast to the almost operatic impact of his St John Passion, the St. Luke Passion is pared back, with a Baroque-style chamber orchestra. In a move away from traditional Passion settings, where soloists and the Evangelist provide the narrative, MacMillan wrote his St. Luke Passion with no soloists, no recitatives, no arias; all the narrative portions are sung by the chorus, with the children's choir singing the words of Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria joined with an international team consisting of the Zaterdag Matinee with assistance from the Concertgebouw, Duke University, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Britten Sinfonia to co-sponsor the commission of MacMillan's St. Luke Passion. The world premiere took place on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as part of the Concertgebouw’s Zaterdag Matinee series.

“Imposing, bold and sincere . . .  James MacMillan’s new poignant St Luke Passion belongs in the same category as the Scotsman’s masterpiece Seven Last Words From the Cross. MacMillan has remained true to himself. He knows all the tricks of the trade but there isn’t a moment of trickery in the new passion.”—deVerdieping Trouw

“It all works wonderfully well. The mixed choir is supported by a modest … ensemble which enhances the work’s strength. The organ also plays a prominent role and contributes some magical effects. The performance, in the capable hands of Markus Stenz, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Chorus and National Children’s Choir was absolutely first class.”—De Telegraaf

“MacMillan’s exceptional talent for vocal writing has been described before in these columns and the St Luke Passion is no exception. His broad tonal idiom with Gregorian chant at the core has strong listener appeal. The performance was superb and MacMillan was visibly moved by the audience reception. Please can we agree here and now to hear this work every year around Easter time?”—Het Parool