Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D - Ray Cook

Duration: 7'00"
Ensemble: SATB organ
Grading: Medium
CMP273 Full score £3.50

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As a member of several Royal School of Church Music choirs I have had the amazing opportunity to perform in almost every English cathedral, experiencing some of the most magnificent choral music ever written in some of the most inspiring places – as well as hearing, and sometimes playing, some of the country’s finest organs.

Singing the great settings, one cannot help but absorb, analyse and admire the styles of the masters of the genre, and these influences, from residing subliminally in the recesses of the mind, cannot help but bubble to the surface when one is immersed in composing. One particular hero of mine is Howells – his textures, his word setting and, above all, his unique harmonic understanding and chordal structures. In this setting, the performer will find obvious references to his style so it is a respectful homage to Howells in particular, but to others as well.

I have always relished a setting which is a good, uplifting sing which sends the congregation away happy, and I hope your choir will enjoy performing my canticles as much as I have found pleasure in composing them. The parts are very accessible; the organ, for the most part, is in a supporting role, so it is well within the capabilities of most choirs used to the choral evensong genre. With its accessibility, sound melodic structure and diatonic harmonies it would be wonderful to think that these canticles could take their place in the repertoire of either parish church or cathedral, performed to the glory of God.