Magazine article Gramophone

MacMillan: MacMillan Series, Vol 3: Work for Chamber Orchestra with Soloists'

Magazine article Gramophone

MacMillan: MacMillan Series, Vol 3: Work for Chamber Orchestra with Soloists'

Article excerpt

MacMillan

'MacMillan Series, Vol 3: Work for Chamber Orchestra with Soloists' From Ayrshire (a). Tuireadh (b). Kiss on Wood (c).... as others see us ...

(b) Lars Wouters van den Oudeweijer c/ (a)Linus Roth vn (c) Julius Berger vc Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra / James MacMillan Challenge Classics [F] CC72638 (61' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Despite its geographically Scottish title, the opening movement of From Ayrshire feels more akin to the pastoral Gloucestershire of Vaughan Williams's Lark Ascending, the violin of Linus Roth floating ethereally above placid orchestral textures. If, as MacMillan has suggested, this 2005 work is built around the Scottish melody 'Ca' the yowes', it is wrapped up so heavily in the characteristic sounds of English string-writing that it is barely recognisable. The brief second movement is a dazzling exhibition of violinistic virtuosity in which Roth shows breathtaking brilliance.

Revealing rather stronger Scottish characteristics, Tuireadh ('Lament') was inspired by the 1988 disaster on the Piper Alpha oil rig off the Scottish coast in which 167 lives were lost. Some exceptionally committed playing from members of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, not least the soulful clarinet which opens this 20-minute outpouring of grief, calls to mind the traditional keening of Gaelic women when faced with a communal tragedy. …

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