During his later years, Charles Wood (1866–1926) became increasingly active as a church composer, and indeed most of his church music, including the Evening Canticles in F, was written after the turn of the century. Wood’s vast liturgical ouput, which continues happily in the tradition established by Wesley and continued by Stanford and Parry, includes no fewer than twenty settings of the Evening Canticles and some thirty anthems. The Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in F, written for King’s College, Cambridge, is scored for double choir and was published in 1920. The Magnificat is remarkable not only for its tremendous variety of vocal textures, but also for its richly expressive harmonies, sublimely beautiful verse sections, and imaginative word-painting. The Nunc dimittis is founded upon a melody from the 1549 French Psalter. The Gloria is without doubt the most full-blooded of the doxologies on this recording, and is a fitting climax to this most pictorial of settings.
from notes by Sarah Langdon © 1987