Scottish-born James MacMillan (b. 1959) quickly rose to become one of the leading classical composers of his generation. A practicing Catholic, he and his wife are both lay Dominicans. MacMillan’s music is infused with the spiritual and the political. He has collaborated with the Catholic poet Michael Symmons Roberts and also Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.
His Seven Last Words from the Cross is a cantata for choir and strings, composed in 1993. Here is its first part, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The performance is from the 1999 Proms.