Magnificat

Scoring

SATB and organ

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Details

8:00
1996

Lehigh University Choir
Steven Sametz, director

The Princeton Singers on "I Have Had Singing"
Nancianne Parella, organ The Resident Training Choir of The American Boychoir School (Vincent Metallo, director)
Steven Sametz, director

Oxford University Press Cat. No. 98,219

Program Notes

The compositional idea for Magnificat occurred on an airplane flight from Katmandu. I was taken by what I thought to be a medieval chant being quietly played over the plane’s sound system. When I realized that no music was being played, and that in fact I hearing the gentle thrumming of harmonics generated by the drone and the pulse of the plane’s engines – a kind of mechanized music of the spheres – I quickly notated this aural impression (found in the central harmonically static setting of the “et misericordia”). The piece, though it grows from plainchant melody, swells to formidable volume and scope, with the soaring treble of the boychoir providing a final adornment in the doxology.

Text / translation

Magnificat anima mea Dominum
et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae:
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnet,
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est:
et sanctum nomen ejus.

Et misericordia a progenie in progenies
in progenies timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo dispersit superbos
mente cordis sui Deposuit potentes de sede,
et exaltavit humiles.

Esurientes implevit bonis:
et divites inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum
recordatus misericordiae suae.
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Abraham et semini ehus in saecula.

Gloria Patri, et Filio,
et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio,
et nunc, at semper,
et in saecula saeculorum.

Amen.

 

Translation

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty,
hath done great things to me;
and holy is his name.

And his mercy is from generation unto generations,
to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm:
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
and hath exalted the humble.d>
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant,
being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son,
And to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be,
World without end.

Amen.

–The Gospel of Luke 1:46-55

 

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