MacMillan: Since it was the day of preparation…

Delphian: DCD34168

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MacMillan: Since it was the day of preparation…


Presto Disc of the Week

24th June 2016

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2016



Catalogue No:




Release date:

24th June 2016




72 minutes


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MacMillan: Since it was the day of preparation…

Brindley Sherratt (bass)

Hebrides Ensemble, Synergy Vocals


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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here, and David's exclusive interview with James MacMillan about the work here.

The first disc in a new recording partnership between Hebrides Ensemble and Delphian Records presents Sir James MacMillan's extraordinary setting - by turns intimate and dramatic - of the Resurrection story as told in St John's Gospel. As at the work's premiere at the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival, the Ensemble and its director William Conway (the work's dedicatee) are joined by bass Brindley Sherratt in the role of Christ, and by a quartet of

singers from Synergy Vocals. A significant landmark in MacMillan's career, Since it was the day of Preparation … now inaugurates a series of recordings set to document Hebrides Ensemble's outstanding contribution to Scottish cultural life.

James MacMillan: Since It Was the Day of Preparation, Pt. 1

Part I: Introduction

Part I: The Pierced Christ (Tenor)

Part I: Interlude

Part I: The Burial (Baritone)

Part I: Interlude

Since It Was the Day of Preparation, Pt. 2

Part II: The Empty Tomb (Tenor, Baritone, Alto, Soprano)

Part II: Interlude

Part II: The Appearance to Mary of Magdala (Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Soprano, Christus)

Part II: Interlude

Part II: The Appearances to the Disciples (Soprano, Alto, Christus, Tenor, Baritone)

Part II: Interlude

Since It Was the Day of Preparation, Pt. 3

Part III: The Appearance on the Shore of Tiberias (Baritone, Tenor, Soprano, Alto, Christus)

Part III: Interlude

Part III: Conclusion - Postlude (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone)

MusicWeb International

June 2016

“Sherratt is very fine as Christ. The music he has to sing is dignified and eloquent and Sherratt puts it across with great conviction...No less impressive are the four members of Synergy Vocals, whether singing as a consort or individually. All four voices are clear, both in terms of tone and diction; they are ideally suited to the music.”

BBC Music Magazine

July 2016


“Since it was the day of preparation is on the face of it a chamber piece, with just ten performers needed. Yet in an extraordinarily perceptive and affecting manner it broaches enduring universal issues and, in this wonderfully committed recording, already feels like a modern masterpiece.”

Presto Classical

David Smith

24th June 2016

“the writing is always idiomatic and shows the players’ abilities off well...[The vocalists] sing in a style that seems natural and eternal when one hears it, despite being completely new – a fusion of Gregorian chant and MacMillan’s Scottish-inflected, ornamented idiom...This is an incredible piece, and I firmly believe it’s destined to become one of MacMillan’s most-performed works.”

The Arts Desk

July 2016

“Macmillan's work is a musically entertaining, dramatically satisfying piece of theatre, not a dull slab of dutiful contemplation... this is as authoritative a reading as we're ever likely to hear.”

Gramophone Magazine

August 2016

“Here we have the latest in a stream of major works which express [MacMillan’s] deeply held Catholicism, and for my money it is by far and away the most effective...The Hebrides Ensemble provide eloquent testimony to the sustained impact of MacMillan’s writing.”

Record Review

July 2016

“extraordinary and surprisingly intimate...Macmillan somehow manages to blend the feel of plainchant with his own kind of Celtic ornamentation. It's lean, spare, intimate, startingly beautiful, and with an atmosphere that stays with you after the final quintet froom Hebrides Ensemble has drifted out of reach.”

Sunday Times

28th August 2016

“MacMillan’s boldly intimate setting of the post-crucifixion narrative of St John’s Gospel veers from Schütz-like austerity to lush piety. Some of the finest music comes in the instrumental interludes...Excellent performances throughout.”

Choir & Organ

“a spellbinding experience.”

Classical Net

“One is left wondering how such modest musical resources have achieved such significant impact on the listener. It's as though MacMillan captured the essence of sanctity in his conception where the apparently unassuming has a significant impact... thoroughly recommended.”

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