Camerata At The Proms – The Guardian

Posted on July 20, 2009

In the evening’s second concert (Proms 5 & 6, 20th July 2009), Douglas Boyd and his Manchester Camerata delivered stylish performances of the orchestral contributions to two major works on the same theme: Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Our Saviour On the Cross, in his own choral arrangement, and James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross, commissioned by BBC television in 1994. Neither is entirely satisfactory. Haydn’s wordy version of what was originally a purely orchestral work dilutes its austere beauty, while MacMillan relies heavily on effects whose often redundant repetitions and occasional overkill sound more like the atmospheric accompaniment to missing visuals than the main event. But the BBC Singers gave flawlessly articulated and tonally refined accounts of both, under Boyd’s sentient direction.

Camerata at the Proms 2009 review, George Hall, Classical Music Writer – The Guardian