Hebrides Ensemble reaches No. 1 in the Specialist Classical Chart

Our first recording in a new partnership with Hebrides Ensemble has entered the Specialist Classical Chart at No. 1.

James MacMillan’s stunning Resurrection setting, Since it was the day of preparation… has also proved a hit with the critics, earning a clutch of 5 star reviews and a coveted Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Commending the ‘transparent quality’ of the performances across the board, the reviewer writes: ‘These were the performers who premiered the work at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, and they have performed it several times since. So by the time they committed it to disc, they had developed a real affinity for it, and this informs every moment of this intensely moving performance.’

Discussing the recording on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review, Andrew McGregor described it as ‘extraordinary and surprisingly intimate… meditative and melancholy, immediately fusing the ancient with the utterly contemporary… MacMillan somehow manages to blend the feel of plainchant with his own kind of Celtic ornamentation.’ He adds: ‘It’s lean, spare, intimate, startlingly beautiful, and with an atmosphere that stays with you after the final quintet from Hebrides Ensemble has drifted out of reach. My new favourite MacMillan.’

Meanwhile, BBC Music Magazine awarded the disc 5 stars, writing: ‘Since it was the day of preparation is on the face of it a chamber piece, with just ten performers needed. Yet in an extraordinarily perceptive and affecting manner it broaches enduring universal issues and, in this wonderfully committed recording, already feels like a modern masterpiece.’