MacMillan's Stabat Mater - Reviews - Britten Sinfonia

Stabat Mater CD Reviews

Reviews of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater world premiere recording, with The Sixteen and Harry Christophers. Out now on CORO.

Classical Ear

"Its stark but searing beauty is brilliantly illuminated by the powerfully nuanced voices of The Sixteen and the poetically rich accompaniment of the Britten Sinfonia, by turns cosseting and excoriating."


"The Britten Sinfonia have tremendously incisive rhythmic bite – their jagged chords four minutes into the first section have almost percussive violence to them..."

The Guardian

"It’s a devastatingly powerful evocation of Mary’s agony, balancing impassioned choral writing with equally intense, occasionally violent, work for the strings of the Britten Sinfonia."

The Herald

"At nearly an hour and with an accompanying score played by the Britten Sinfonia, this is a major piece and superbly performed."

Music Web International

"It’s obvious that MacMillan’s music makes virtuoso demands on both the singers and the players but these artists meet this immense challenge head on and seem to leverage their performance off MacMillan’s music so as to give a visceral account of the work."

Planet Hugill

"This is a setting which is alive to the personal drama of the text, and there are moments of real violence."

The Times

"It's stunningly composed and magnificently performed by the strings of the Britten Sinfonia and the voices of The Sixteen under Harry Christophers's inspired direction."