Macmillan, J.: Triduum, Part I: The World'S Ransoming - Triduum, Part Ii: Cello Concerto
Christine Pendrill, Osmo Vänskä, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra & Raphael Wallfisch
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||Triduum, Part I: The World's Ransoming||Christine Pendrill, Osmo Vänskä & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra||21:06||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Triduum, Part II: Cello Concerto: I. the Mockery||Raphael Wallfisch, Osmo Vänskä & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra||15:04||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Triduum, Part II: Cello Concerto: II. the Reproaches||Raphael Wallfisch, Osmo Vänskä & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra||10:50||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Triduum, Part II: Cello Concerto: III. Dearest Wood and Dearest Iron||Raphael Wallfisch, Osmo Vänskä & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra||14:02||Album Only||View in iTunes|
Thought-provoking and entertaining
This is very good at bringing out the events and mood surrounding Christ's Passion and death.
If the music reminds me of anyone, it's another composer I hold in very high esteem: Alan Hovhaness (who also has some Scotland in him! How does that little country produce so much talent?). But where Hovhaness is mostly pictorial, this work is more dramatic, with a greater depth of emotion. Plus, MacMillan uses a lot of effects that Hovhaness would never use. In the latter movements there is what sounds like a sheet of roof aluminum rippled to great effect, much like a whip-saw (that is, if it isn't an electronic effect). And toward the end of the first movement, he uses percussion to create an emotion I've never heard percussion achieve before: frustration.
There are a couple of ways to do a cello (or any other instrument) concerto: A cello concerto either emphasizes the cello, or it emphasizes the concerto. There's nothing wrong with the former; many concertos have even been written with a certain artist in mind. Elgar's violin concerto was written for the young Yehudi Menuhin, Penderecky's 2nd violin concerto for Anne-Sophie Mutter. But this is the latter type, where the cello is really, like Caesar was supposed to be, "first among equals". It's simply the featured instrument in the orchestra. And in this case MacMillan uses this style wonderfully. For example, every time that I can remember the cello soaring into the upper registers, it soars right into the arms of the orchestra.
And the dramatic content is very effective. MacMillan could easily have a second career writing movie scores. Not five-star, but really good stuff!