James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater released 3 March 2017

On 3 March 2017 Harry Christophers, The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia release the premiere recording of Sir James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater, on The Sixteen’s record label CORO.

MacMillan’s new Stabat Mater was commissioned by the Genesis Foundation for Harry Christophers and The Sixteen. The work is performed by The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia, in a continuation of their close relationship with MacMillan.

Watch a behind the scenes film of the recording seassions of Stabat Mater:

Few living composers communicate with the emotional directness of James MacMillan and his belief that ‘beauty is at the heart of our Christian faith’ is profoundly present in his new setting of the Stabat Mater. Arguably one of the most powerful poems in the liturgy, only a small number of composers have tackled the Stabat Mater in the last 30 years and the musical world has waited a long time for a substantial setting. In James MacMillan’s version, we are witness to a new and intensely personal work which encapsulates the dramatic power of the poem in a way no other composer has done to date, with the Financial Times commenting: “MacMillan…speaks of a ‘painful world of loss, violence, and spiritual desolation’, and those are the intense feelings packed into his score.”

The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia gave the world premiere performance of MacMillan’s Stabat Mater on 15 October 2016 as part of the Barbican’s day-long celebration of MacMillan’s choral music with subsequent performances at Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden (16 October), St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich (18 October) and The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (28 October). The performances received critical acclaim with The Times stating: “It’s not often that the composer of a new work gets a standing ovation, but then every new work isn’t like James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater for chorus and string orchestra.”

The recording will be available to buy from Friday 3 March 2017 via The Sixteen’s website and also at our forthcoming concerts.

Check out the rest of the Britten Sinfonia discography here