The following notes by Resonance Works/Pittsburgh conductor Maria Sensi Sellner announce what should be a magical weekend of music by composer James MacMillan. Tickets are still available for this highly anticipated series of concerts.
Ms. Sensi Sellner - When I was a grad student studying composition at Carnegie Mellon, my professor introduced me to a piece entitled Veni, Veni Emmanuel - a percussion concerto written for the amazing
Evelyn Glennie and based on the traditional French chant for Advent. I instantly fell in love with
its bold orchestral colors, visceral rhythmic intensity, and vivid soundscape.
As I continued to delve into the music of James MacMillan, I discovered a brilliant wealth of riches - music
infused with passion, ritual, and immense creativity, with the great capacity to take the listener on a spiritual journey. He made a major mark on the international music scene in 1990 with The Confession of Isobel
Gowdie, an orchestral piece written as a Requiem for a woman burnt for being a witch in post-Reformation Scotland. Its premiere at the Proms in London received "an ovation the like of which had rarely been seen at a British premiere since the death of Benjamin Britten"
Veni, Veni Emmanuel followed in 1992, and has since become one of the most performed works of
the late 20th century, with nearly 500 performances by the world's major orchestras. Beyond
these orchestral works is a prolific and continuing output of vibrant choral music, chamber music and opera.
Several years ago, when I heard that MacMillan had written a Gloria, I sent for a score and have been looking for an opportunity to perform the piece ever since. It premiered in June 2012 commemorating the 50th anniversary of both the new Coventry Cathedral and Britten’s War Requiem, which had premiered at the 1962 consecration of the cathedral.
When I learned that he would be the Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony this season, I knew this was the perfect time to perform this work here in Pittsburgh.
I am thrilled that Resonance Works will present the American premiere of MacMillan's Gloria next week, and that we may share the wonderful music of one of my favorite composers with you!
Our performances of ...in Excelsis on February 9 & 11 are presented in coordination with the Pittsburgh Symphony and their Feb 10 & 12 concerts which include Veni Veni Emmanuel. We hope you will enjoy a weekend of MacMillan: Discover the piece that I first fell in love with at the PSO, and then join us in Shadyside for four of his more recent works. The composer himself will join us on Saturday, February 11.
Thursday, February 9 @ 8 pm
Saturday, February 11 @ 8 pm For tickets, phone (412) 501-3330 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MacMillan - Cecilia Virgo
MacMillan - Seraph
Vaughan Williams - Flos Campi
MacMillan - Tota pulchra es
Verdi - Ave Maria
Hovhaness - Prayer of St. Gregory
MacMillan - Gloria
The U.S. Premiere!
Neal Berntsen, trumpet
Jason Hohn, viola
George Milosh, tenor
Russell Weismann, organ
Youth choir with members of the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus
Resonance Chamber Orchestra &
Maria Sensi Sellner, conductor
Third Presbyterian Church
5701 Fifth Avenue, Shadyside
Make it a weekend of MacMillan
MacMillan: Veni, Veni Emmanuel
Colin Currie, percussion
Friday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m.
For tickets, call 412.392.4900 or visit pittsburghsymphony.org/beauty