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Merton College Service

2013; S solo + SATB divisi; commissioned by Merton College Oxford to mark the college's 750th anniversary; first performed on 23 March 2013 by Merton College Choir and Benjamin Nicholas
author of text
Magnificat: Luke 1: 46-55; Nunc dimittis: Luke 2: 23-32

The Merton College Service (Magnificat and Nunc dimittis), from 2013, was commissioned by the college for The Merton Choirbook—an extensive collection of new works to celebrate the college’s 750th anniversary. The work is unusual for a modern setting, being both unaccompanied and in Latin. It is also entirely syllabic and homophonic, and has perhaps something of the Tudor Short Service about it in its simplicity and gentle austerity. In contrast to the chanted declamation of the canticles themselves, the Glorias find a solo voice (whether soprano or alto is unspecified in the score) underpinned by lush sustained chords, before a briefly refulgent Amen resolves onto an ‘ancient’ bare fifth.

from notes by Gabriel Jackson © 2015


Ešenvalds: Northern Lights & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68083Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Canticle 1: Magnificat
Track 8 on CDA68083 [3'39]
Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis
Track 9 on CDA68083 [2'45]

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