The journey to the cross: Music for Maundy Thursday
The BBC Singers, Sir James MacMillan
St John’s, Smith Sq. 18 April 2019
MacMillan: Strathclyde Motets; Choral Sequence from the St John Passion
Gesualdo: Responsories for Maundy Thursday
The BBC Singers invited the celebrated Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan to devise and conduct a programme of choral music for Maundy Thursday in celebration of his 60th birthday. MacMillan chose to contrast selections from his Strathclyde Motets with movements from Gesualdo’s Responsories for Maundy Thursday. It concluded with MacMillan’s dramatic Choral Sequence from the St John Passion. The Strathclyde Motets started as an initial commission for one motet for the Strathclyde University Chamber Choir. Between 2005 and 2010 it was expanded into the current 28 communion motets on Latin texts, intended for amateur choirs, but far from straightforward in the vocal techniques needed.