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Tenebrae brings its trademark passion and precision to this dramatic programme, contrasting Bach’s iconic motets with the sacred music of Sir James MacMillan. Renowned for their technical difficulty, Bach’s motets are pillars of the choral repertoire, requiring minute attention to detail as well as a full emotional range.

Here, Tenebrae performs the three best-loved of the set, culminating in the joyful Singet dem Herrn. Like Bach, MacMillan has written much of his music for the church, and his settings of the Tenebrae responsories paint a vivid picture of the events of Holy Week. In 2021 he composed a work for Tenebrae to perform alongside the Bach motets, and the result is a moving setting of words by Henry Vaughan, I Saw Eternity.

Unaccompanied choral singing comes no better than this: in blend, accuracy, precision, commitment. – The Guardian


J.S. Bach: Komm, Jesu komm (8)
James MacMillan: Tenebrae factae sunt (6)
J.S. Bach: Jesu, meine Freude (20)

James MacMillan: Miserere (12)
James MacMillan: Tradiderunt me (6)
James MacMillan: Jesum tradidit (8)
James MacMillan: I Saw Eternity (5)
J.S. Bach: Singet dem Herrn (15)


Nigel Short, Tenebrae