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The Independent Culture
James MacMillan The World's Ransoming/Cello Concerto

Symphony `Vigil' BBC Scottish SO, Vanska (BIS, two discs available separately)

World premiere recordings for Scottish composer James MacMillan's Easter Triduum. All three pieces have a good deal to recommend them, not the least of which is the ambitious scope of MacMillan's imagination and the rugged timbres and glittering sound blocks he uses. The first disc contains the added dimension of two soloists - cor anglais player Christine Pendrill in The World's Ransoming and Raphael Wallfisch in the Cello Concerto. Both play admirably, even if their instruments sound somewhat distant. Yet the spaciousness and antiphonal feel of the Symphony is certainly captured and, here, Vanska drives the music on via a series of crescendos to its jubilant though hard-won end. Impressive stuff which shows MacMillan as a major contemporary compositional voice. HHHHH