Author Topic: James MacMillan  (Read 11441 times)

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Offline Grazioso

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2011, 05:41:14 AM »
Iirc, there are one or two programs on MacMillan from BBC's Discovering Music series online.
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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2011, 06:20:09 AM »
I haven't listened to Rouse in quite some time, so I'm afraid I can't oblige you and answer your question. This said, MacMillan's music, from what I have read, is deeply influenced by his faith. He is a devout member of the Roman Catholic Church. Of the two works that I've heard (the very same works that sparked my interest in his music), Sinfonietta and The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, I will tell you that the music can be passionately rambunctious with dissonant brass fanfares and grinding strings, but his music can also be lyrically moving, which these two extremes often exist together. I, of course, being a new listener to his music will have to bow out of this thread for awhile until I have absorbed more of his music. I'm looking forward to hearing more of his music.

You're not saying he 'sounds' Avant-Garde-Roman-Catholic, are you?? ??? How does a young Modern Composer 'sound' Roman Catholic, subject matter aside? Personally, from what I read above, he sounds as if his music 'sounds' more Socialist. ;D


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2011, 07:19:16 AM »
You're not saying he 'sounds' Avant-Garde-Roman-Catholic, are you?? ??? How does a young Modern Composer 'sound' Roman Catholic, subject matter aside? Personally, from what I read above, he sounds as if his music 'sounds' more Socialist. ;D

I'm saying that his music is influenced/inspired by his faith.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 07:24:58 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2011, 07:32:39 AM »
Iirc, there are one or two programs on MacMillan from BBC's Discovering Music series online.

Thanks, I'll check these out. Do you have a link perhaps to save me some time?
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Grazioso

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2011, 09:43:26 AM »
Thanks, I'll check these out. Do you have a link perhaps to save me some time?

Unfortunately not.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2011, 09:48:07 AM »
Unfortunately not.

It's okay, I found them, but they won't playback for whatever reason. It's cool, I'll just continue to read about his music and his biography.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline lescamil

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2011, 10:51:16 AM »
Speaking of the BBC, there is a program on tonight that features his Three Interludes from the opera The Sacrifice and The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. The latter piece is definitely one of his best works. The Three Interludes are not a favorite of mine, but they might satisfy some listeners. Here is a link to the program:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zt72q

Don't miss out on it! MacMillan is also a great conductor, in addition to a great composer, and I'm sure he has some interesting things to say in the interviews also.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2011, 11:03:01 AM »
Speaking of the BBC, there is a program on tonight that features his Three Interludes from the opera The Sacrifice and The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. The latter piece is definitely one of his best works. The Three Interludes are not a favorite of mine, but they might satisfy some listeners. Here is a link to the program:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zt72q

Don't miss out on it! MacMillan is also a great conductor, in addition to a great composer, and I'm sure he has some interesting things to say in the interviews also.

Thanks for this lescamil. Should be interesting, but I will say that I've watched some interviews with MacMillan on the YouTube and he's quite an ordinary guy. You can tell, however, that his music comes from his soul as he doesn't really have all that much to say about his music. I imagine it's quite difficult for a composer to describe his music to someone else in an accessible way especially when it's as complex as MacMillan's.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2012, 08:36:15 PM »
I'm so ashamed that I've only seriously listened to a few MacMillan compositions and I have 12 recordings of his music! :-[ I've got a vacation coming up in May, so I plan on tackling his music even though I've said this before. ::) He's one of the few Contemporary composers I can firmly stand behind because he never abandoned tonality, which, for me, means that there's still plenty to be written in a tonal idiom, but, at the same time, MacMillan isn't afraid to let his hair down and bring in some atonal elements into the music.

Hopefully, my next phase will be a MacMillan one. :)
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline lescamil

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2012, 09:25:39 PM »
Ever since I have discovered MacMillan, I have found new things in his music, both in pieces that I am very familiar with and love and with his new compositions that I have heard premieres of recently. It's the sort of music that is very intricate on paper and may seem overwhelming, but the intentions are very clear and you always know what his artistic intent is. Despite it's directness, there is still room for artistic variety, as one can hear in his pieces that have been frequently performed or recorded. I think that is a sign of a composer that deserves to truly be called 'great'. He may not be completely original, but he still has an unmistakeable voice. It seems he is only recognized in the UK and Europe, but his fame is slowly being felt here in the States.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2012, 06:21:15 AM »
Ever since I have discovered MacMillan, I have found new things in his music, both in pieces that I am very familiar with and love and with his new compositions that I have heard premieres of recently. It's the sort of music that is very intricate on paper and may seem overwhelming, but the intentions are very clear and you always know what his artistic intent is. Despite it's directness, there is still room for artistic variety, as one can hear in his pieces that have been frequently performed or recorded. I think that is a sign of a composer that deserves to truly be called 'great'. He may not be completely original, but he still has an unmistakeable voice. It seems he is only recognized in the UK and Europe, but his fame is slowly being felt here in the States.

I agree. I'm very interested in his music and the message in his music is always clear and emotional. In fact, I bought two more of his recordings last night so that will make it 14 recordings that I will own. I've got some serious listening to do!
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2012, 01:14:38 PM »
An interesting composer indeed and a fellow Scot ;D ;D

He is passionately committed to his faith and to music and the two are inextricably linked for him. There are those who are repelled by this but will not deter MacMillan one iota :)

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2012, 01:21:22 PM »
The MacMillan work I have heard is 'Veni Veni Emmanuel' which I absolutely loved. A brilliant piece.

Definitely interested to hear more of his music! :)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2012, 06:12:08 PM »
He is passionately committed to his faith and to music and the two are inextricably linked for him. There are those who are repelled by this but will not deter MacMillan one iota :)

That's very true. Why would anyone be repelled by one man's faith? I hope I didn't open a can of worms here, but I think people really should just listen to the music and judge it on whether they like it or don't like it. I'm repulsed by Wagner's attitude towards the Jews, but this doesn't stop me from enjoying the music.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2012, 07:23:13 PM »
The MacMillan work I have heard is 'Veni Veni Emmanuel' which I absolutely loved. A brilliant piece.

Definitely interested to hear more of his music! :)

Daniel, you should definitely hear The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. This is a stunning piece of music for orchestra.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2012, 01:48:55 AM »
Daniel, you should definitely hear The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. This is a stunning piece of music for orchestra.

Thank you for the recommendation, John. I shall definitely look into this work! The percussion concerto has me very interested in his work.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2012, 12:48:41 PM »
That's very true. Why would anyone be repelled by one man's faith? I hope I didn't open a can of worms here, but I think people really should just listen to the music and judge it on whether they like it or don't like it. I'm repulsed by Wagner's attitude towards the Jews, but this doesn't stop me from enjoying the music.

I entirely agree but it always surprises and distresses me when certain people are affronted by the source of an artist's inspiration and, as a consequence, are not prepared to admire the resulting creation.

You might as well deny the beauty of medieval church architecture.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2012, 05:50:26 PM »
I entirely agree but it always surprises and distresses me when certain people are affronted by the source of an artist's inspiration and, as a consequence, are not prepared to admire the resulting creation.

You might as well deny the beauty of medieval church architecture.

Beauty is beauty regardless if it came from someone who hated everybody and everything around them or someone who embraced life with a broad smile and a good cheer. As listeners, we don't have to know a composer's life story to enjoy it although I enjoy reading composer's biographies, but this shouldn't add or take away from what we're hearing.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2012, 07:18:18 PM »
Thank you for the recommendation, John. I shall definitely look into this work! The percussion concerto has me very interested in his work.

Another stunning orchestral work by MacMillan is The World's Ransoming. Totally awesome.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: James MacMillan
« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2012, 07:31:05 AM »
Another stunning orchestral work by MacMillan is The World's Ransoming. Totally awesome.

Shall keep that recommendation in mind too, John. Thank you! :)
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
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