Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): Short Service – Evening Canticles

This is the earlier of the two settings Gibbons composed, it is as I noted last week, for full choir and is almost entirely homophonic. It’s a four-part (SATB) setting and is a ‘full’ rather than a verse setting. It’s a simple setting, through-composed, and with rather plain contrapuntal writing and in this very plainness lies much of its appeal as it highlights Gibbons’ fluid and graceful melodic writing. It was wildly popular with Cathedral choirs both for its beauty and because even choirs with modest resources (and skill!) could sing it without much difficulty. It’s never left the repertoire. Enjoy :-)

mfi


Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): Short Service – Evening Canticles

Evening Canticle 1: Magnificat My soul doth magnify the Lord

Evening Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit rejoiceth in God my saviour.
For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden:
for behold, from henceforth
all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me:
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him
thoroughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm:
he hath scattered the proud
in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things:
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy
hath holpen his servant Israel.
As he promised to our forefathers,
Abraham and his seed for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, and is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart
in peace, according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles,
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, and is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Performers:

The Choir of King’s College Cambridge, conducted by Phillip Ledger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *