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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. 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 – Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden
J. S. Bach – Komm, Jesu komm
James MacMillan – Tenebrae factae sunt
James MacMillan – Tradiderunt me
James MacMillan – Jesum tradidit
J. S. Bach – Jesu meine Freude
James MacMillan – I Saw Eternity (Scottish Premiere)
James MacMillan – Miserere


Nigel Short, Tenebrae