Westminster Service : Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
by Brett McKern (2007)
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Library shelf no. CD 2785 [Not for loan]
Library shelf no. 782.5525/MCK 16 [Not for loan]
This setting of the evening canticles (BCP text) was written for an Evensong at Westminster Abbey, with the acoustics and organ of the Abbey in mind.It could be performed in a smaller building with a smaller organ, but to have a solo reed stop is advisable. The organ registration, while seemingly precise, gives hints as to the style or mood of the various sections which may need to be adjusted.
The Magnificat includes a busy toccata-like organ part and a long introduction.The setting is for double choir positioned on either side of the chancel in a cathedral, Decani and Cantoris.In many places there is an alternatum between the two choirs.The tuba stop of the organ features but there are lyric moments for the clarinet stop, and for the soprano voices in particular.The Nunc Dimittis has a plaintive, lilting and sometimes staggering motive in the organ which could be said to represent the steps and jagged movements of the dying old man Simeon, who says these words in the Gospel.There is an 8-part quasi-fugal beginning of the Gloria that uses the same tune as the Magnificat opening and Gloria.
Instrumentation: Double choir (SATBSATB), organ
Duration: 13 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Large and difficult organ part
Commission note: Commissioned by The Cathedral Singers for their UK tour, July-August 2008
- In the form/style of: Spiritual and Sacred Music
Performances of this work
20 Jul 08: Westminster Abbey, London. Featuring The Cathedral Singers.
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