From a 15th-century Canterbury pontifical (L)
Westminster Cathedral, London
Westminster Cathedral Choir / Martin Baker
Choral level of difficulty: 3 (5 greatest)
This short work demonstrates MacMillan’s versatility as a composer. This has ‘coronation service’ wow factor with brass, timpani and organ making a hugely impressive entrance fanfare/motet for the new Archbishop as he entered the west door of Westminster Cathedral and processed down the centre of the nave to the high altar. It is pure musical theatre and would be a good starting work in a concert which included MacMillan’s Gloria.
The notes are not difficult for a choir to master. The work is in three sections. Fanfares and choral outbursts followed by chant in the habitual MacMillan manner interspersed with free chant in four part harmony before a return to the opening fanfare material and a wonderfully ‘driven into the buffers at full tilt’ ending.
Repertoire note by Paul Spicer