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Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

author of text
Magnificat: Luke 1: 46-55; Nunc dimittis: Luke 2: 29-32

Settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis are a vital part of English choral music, but, having had very little personal experience of the Anglican liturgy for much of my life, it was in a spirit of exploration that I accepted an invitation from Andrew Nethsingha to write a ‘Mag and Nunc’ for St John’s College Choir, Cambridge.

Imagining the music being sung during a church service, I saw it as a priority to set the extended Magnificat text compactly; writing in four parts (SATB) with no divisi proved the key to creating a fast-flowing texture in which the words were nevertheless clearly audible. Conversely in the brief Nunc dimittis the harmony has the time and space to build slowly into six-part sequences.

from notes by Judith Weir © 2015


Weir: Storm & other choral works
SIGCD421Download only


Canticle 1: Magnificat  My soul doth magnify the Lord
Track 2 on SIGCD421 [3'53] Download only
Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace
Track 3 on SIGCD421 [2'52] Download only

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