James MacMillan’s Stabat mater – a Genesis Foundation commission – is Gramophone’s Recording of the Month, May 2017

28 April 2017

“A highly moving setting of this ancient text – James MacMillan’s score embodies Mary’s grief and pain with extraordinary power. The Sixteen respond with singing of searing intensity.” Martin Cullingford, Editor of Gramophone Magazine

Not only has Gramophone made the recording of James MacMillan’s Stabat mater – commissioned by the Genesis Foundation – its Recording of the Month, but the magazine’s editor also praised the Foundation’s Founder & Chairman John Studzinski: “The musical world is fortunate to have figures like John Studzinski.”

Elsewhere in the magazine the album of MacMillan’s Stabat mater continues its run of incredible five star reviews: “Posterity might well judge this to be a 21st-century masterpiece; there is no question that this is a truly masterly recorded performance.”

Following its sold-out world premiere performance at the Barbican, London, in October 2016 and subsequent tour featuring Harry Christophers and The Sixteen with the Britten Sinfonia, the album of MacMillan’s Stabat mater has received outstanding praise. The Financial Times was one of the many broadsheets that awarded the album five stars and commented: “MacMillan…speaks of a ‘painful world of loss, violence, and spiritual desolation’, and those are the intense feelings packed into his score.”

The idea to commission this new work came to fruition after John Studzinski heard a performance of Rossini’s Stabat mater, which he felt contained “not one element of devotion, faith, hope or humanity.”

John Studzinski is a patron of the arts, commissioning new works and helping developing artists through the Genesis Foundation – whether they be musicians, composers, actors or visual artists – in honing their talents through a number of programmes run by some of the world’s most prominent institutions and collaborators.

To purchase a copy of James MacMillan’s Stabat mater, click here.

To read the full review from Gramophone, click here.

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