At The Scotsman this morning, by their classical music critic Ken Walton:
The more I listen to James MacMillan’s Fourth Symphony, written in the year running up to its premiere at the 2015 BBC Proms, the more powerfully its restless energy and disparate ideas hit home. This protean recording by the BBC Philharmonic under Martyn Brabbins is both consummate and compelling, knitting the symphony’s intense complexities, reminiscences (haunting reflections on the music of Scots Renaissance composer Robert Carver), exotic allusions to steel band sonorities, and that inevitable MacMillan-esque religiosity into one profoundly unified creative organism. Its sense of purpose and direction is unrelenting, ultimately ecstatic. The cadence-like opening chords of the ensuing Viola Concerto create an uncanny segue from the symphony, but beyond that Lawrence Powers’ rich-toned solo performance asserts the individuality of a work that shows the tonal resource of the viola at its most radiant.
That is perhaps the third or fourth reference in the past week I've seen to MacMillan's Viola Concerto so I expect that I ought to give that a listen. I may have, at some point or another, but alas I don't remember it. There should be Solemn Mass from Saint-Eugène in ten minutes or so.
The Schola sang, inter alia, César Franck's Dextera Domini at Communion. At Notre-Dame the choir is rather larger but the Schola acquitted itself quite well.
The auxiliary bishop, Mgr Marsset (if I heard his name properly [I most certainly did not hear his name correctly: it was Mgr Maurice Le Bègue de Germiny, emeritus of Blois]), was present; he is conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation in an hour and half or so. There were moments when he seemed not quite sure what to do with himself in choir but I expect that he doesn't attend at Solemn Mass in the Traditional Rite all that often; his second time at Saint-Eugène, however, if I heard Canon Guelfucci correctly.
Ordinarily, I would doze at this point for an hour. Yesterday, however, the ATM at the supermarket was unable to give me all the cash I need in order to pay rent, and since it is perhaps doubtful that it will provide the balance this morning I have to be prepared to walk to the ATM at the nearest bank (adding perhaps ten, fifteen minutes to my morning spatiamentum and the shopping): so I will advance the ceremonies of my morning toilette by half an hour lest I miss the beginning of Vespers. There is a time fixed for that office at Saint-Eugène to begin (0845, here) but I suspect that immediately Confirmation is finished they will proceed to Vespers. Maybe not, of course.
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