MACMILLAN: Tenebrae; Strathclyde Motets; Introit; Missa Brevis – Cappella Nova/ Alan Tavener – Linn Echo BKD 301, 70:19 ****1/2:
I reviewed this to great acclaim in 2007—let me direct you there to avoid redundancy. Linn Records has finally gotten big enough that they are offering reissues from their catalog in a series termed “Echo”, cleverly blurring out the original art work to make their point. Someone might want to tell Amazon though, as they are listing the original SACD and this one at twenty dollars! [Amazon is known for their totally wrong information on many CDs and DVDs, so don’t depend on them…Ed.] Other websites appear to get it right, with the normal discount on this reissue about four dollars. However—and critical for a website like this one—the fact that the issue is not SACD could be a problem. The first one was a terrific recording making full use of the SACD spectrum. This one is by no means negligible—the sound is still very good two-channel stereo—but I am not sure that another trip around the block will do much to persuade audiophiles to acquire this disc.
What it might do is remind those that missed it that there is a fantastic MacMillan album out there that deserves their consideration. And for those whose bag is not SACD—shame!—this is still a worthwhile release on all counts, one of the best MacMillan discs in the last ten years.