Directly communicative and emotionally affecting, James MacMillan’s music often has a strong sense of narrative inspired by history or theology. Even in his scores that are intended to be purely abstract, there is a distinct feeling of struggle and conflict between contrasting thematic materials. MacMillan’s Viola Concerto was written for Lawrence Power, who brings a unique authority to its first recording. The Fourth Symphony is a generous and appropriate coupling, both works incorporating and transforming musical elements from the distant past. Martyn Brabbins leads the BBC Philharmonic.