James MacMillan  Since It Was The Day of Preparation…
Hebrides Ensemble with Brindley Sherratt

June 2016

 

“The text is delivered by a quintet of solo voices, which, especially when sung with such delicious clarity as Synergy Vocals here, creates a wonderfully transparent quality.  Brindley Sherratt is the superbly resonant bass who sings the words of Christ, but tenor Benedict Hymas deserves special mention for his enchanting delivery of the opening verses of the text… These performers (have) developed a real affinity for (the piece) and this informs every moment of this intensely moving performance.”

Gramophone (Marc Rochester)

 

“Central to its efficacy is the outstanding quintet of vocal soloists.  Tenor Benedict Hymas of Synergy Vocals sets the bar high in his unaccompanied opening monologue, voicing the melismata with rare fluidity and a patient expressivity which compels the listener’s attention. Since it was the Day of Preparation… in this wonderfully committed recording already feels like a modern masterpiece.”

BBC Music Magazine

 

“(This performance) must be regarded as definitive for here we have the artists who first performed the score, recorded in the presence of the composer.  Brindley Sherratt is very fine as Christ.  The music he has to sing is dignified and eloquent and Sherratt puts it across with great conviction.  No less impressive are the four members of Synergy Vocals, whether singing as a consort or individually.  All four voices are clear, both in terms of tone and diction, they are ideally suited to the music.  Since it was the Day of Preparation… is a notable score and this accomplished and committed first recording serves it admirably and should bring the work to the wider audience it deserves.”

MusicWeb International

 

“This is a long and taxing work, MacMillan’s highly personal writing is profoundly effective for the forces for whom he is writing, but this does presuppose that the performers are at the peak of their game. The members of Synergy Vocals and of the Hebrides Ensemble all form superb ensembles, playing and singing with chamber finesse yet each stands out superbly when called upon.”

Planet Hugill