The Music of James MacMillan
Title Details

317 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

4 b/w. 74 line. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Music of James MacMillan

by Phillip A. Cooke

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Known for his orchestral, operatic and choral works, James MacMillan (b. 1959) appeals across the spectrum of contemporary music making.
James MacMillan appeals across the spectrum of contemporary music making and is particularly celebrated for his orchestral, operatic and choral pieces. This book, published in time to mark the composer's sixtieth birthday, is thefirst in-depth look at his life, work and aesthetic. From his beginnings in rural Ayrshire and his early work with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, through the international breakthrough success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie,the continuing success of works such as the percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmaneul and his choral pieces, to his current position as one of the most prominent British composers of his generation, the book explores MacMillan's compositional influences over time. It looks closely at his most significant works and sets them in a wider context defined by contemporary composition, culture and the arts in general.
The book also considers MacMillan's strong Catholic faith and how this has influenced his work, along with his politics and his on-going relationship with Scottish nationalism. With the support of the composer and his publisher and unprecedented access to interviews and previously unpublished materials, the book not only provides an appraisal of MacMillan's work but also insights into what it means to be a prominent composer and artist in the twenty-first century.

PHILLIP A. COOKE is a Composer and Senior Lecturer and Head of Music at the University of Aberdeen. He has previously co-edited The Music of Herbert Howells for Boydell.
The Keening - Cumnock, Edinburgh and Durham
The Tryst - Glasgow and the road to Isobel Gowdie
Scots Songs - The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, Tuireadh and Veni, Veni, Emmanuel
A Different World - Visitatio Sepulchri, Seven Last Words from the Cross and Inés de Castro
Changed - Triduum and Quickening
Raising Sparks - 'Scotland's Shame', politics and A Scotch Bestiary
A New Song - Mass and MacMillan's choral renaissance
After Virtue - Symphony No. 3, The Sacrifice and the St John Passion
Serenity - Violin Concerto, Clemency and the St Luke Passion
Tu es Petrus - Bellahouston Park and the return to Cumnock
List of Works and Recordings
Bibliography
Index
"Survey[s] the various stages of MacMillan's career: the 'sudden surge of new works' following his return to Glasgow in 1988 and the rock-style 1990 Proms reception that greeted Isobel Gowdie; the ensuing period of sustained success up to the opera Inès de Castro in 1996; the 'consolidation' years to 2000, peaking with the epic oratorio Quickening...and the bitterness and ultimate stylistic turnaround in the decade following Scotland's Shame." THE SCOTSMAN
"Well-researched and readable...reveals the fascinating development of the enigmatic and pre-eminent Scottish composer, Sir James MacMillan...delivers facts and anecdotes that vividly depict MacMillan as a fascinating figure whose tremendous musical skills now bask in worldwide fame." BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
"A stellar career...Sir James' dominance of Scottish Classical music of his prominence internally is clear from this year's Edinburgh International Festival programme, where the world premiere of his fifth symphony is the highlight of a full programme celebrating his 60th birthday." THE TIMES
"Sketch[es] in the important parts of his life story...deal[ing] mainly with [James MacMillan's] thoughts on the music of the 20th century and his own journey through its later years and the opening decades of the 21st." THE HERALD
"Uncovers much of what it means to be a classical composer in the 21st century." CHOIR & ORGAN

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9781783273706

June 2019

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Title Details

317 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

4 b/w. 74 line. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press