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Sydney service : Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

by Brett McKern (2010)

Work Overview

This setting is a modern-sounding work despite the 450 year old text. It employs contrasts in the most up-front way. Dissonance is prepared but is boldly presented before arriving at a point of rest which is not always a simple resolution. Indeed, resolution is often significantly delayed. There is contrast between striking modernist-sounding discords and tonality. There is contrast between long sustained chords and stridently-rhythmic sections. There is contrast between polyphony and hetrophony. There is also contrast between chorus and solo, and between repetition of musical motives but with new words (eg: just before the Gloria Patri in the Magnificat). There are also differences in the Gloria for each movement, as opposed to a slavish copy in the Nunc Dimittis, which also has a harmonically fuller ending.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Alto solo, tenor solo, SATB chorus, unaccompanied.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Magnificat (5 min.) -- Nunc Dimittis (3 min.).

The composer notes the following influences on this work:
Influenced by Renaissance polyphony, but reinterpreted in a more modern way.


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