Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Magnificat tertii toni

This is the earlier of two settings of the Magnificat that de Lassus is known to have composed, he composed it early in the 1560s and published it in Nuremberg in 1567 . It’s an alternatim setting which combines the third mode plainchant Magnificat with four-part polyphonic settings of the verses which themselves are based…

Manoel de Oliveira (1735-1813): Magnificat

The Brazilian composer Manoel de Oliveira was clearly an amazingly versatile composer who composed a considerable number of works in various styles. Manoel (Manuel) Dias de Oliveira was born in 1735 the son of organist Dias Lourenco de Oliveira and a slave, he never left the region of Minas Gerais where he was born. He…

William Walton – Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Chichester Service)

The choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, directed by Stephen Layton singing Walton Walton’s settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. Walton set them in 1974 in response to a commission from Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral, in celebration of Chichester Cathedral’s 900th anniversary. Hence the name "Chichester Service". Walton said that he had difficulty…

Thomas Tallis (1505-1585): Lamentations of Jeremiah I & II

I’ve always thought of the two sets of Lamentations as Tallis’ most personal music. The text is from that set for Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) but Tallis plainly had no intention of setting them so that they could be used liturgically. He did something far more radical which is that he turned something which was…

Dieterich Buxtehude (Attrib): Magnificat

This Magnificat is attributed to Buxtehude mostly on the basis that it appears in Gustav Düben’s collection of  scores. The score has Buxtehude’s name on it in square brackets but if you look at the name it’s very obviously been added by a later hand. Other than that the sole basis for the attribution seems…

Cristóbal de Morales (±1500 –1553): Magnificat III tone

Cristóbal de Morales (±1500 –1553) was the first Spanish composer of the Renaissance to achieve international fame, his music was published and re-published appearing in at least thirty prints between 1535 and 1570. Musically he was very influential not least upon the youthful Palestrina who would have sung the Spanish master’s music when he was…

Gabriel Jackson (1962 –): Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis (Truro Service) — Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral

Choral Evensong from St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh. The Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Matthew Owens, perform settings of the Magnificat (0:01) and Nunc Dimittis(4:17) evening canticles out of Gabriel Jackson’s stunning Truro Service. Both canticles appear on the 2005 disk ‘Gabriel Jackson: Sacred Choral Works’, available on iTunes through Delphian Records. Treble and…

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): Magnificat Sexti toni

Victoria published no less than eighteen Magnificat settings which range from sumptuous polychoral antiphonal works such as this triple choir (SATB + SSABar + SATB) setting to the restrained and elegant four-part setting. I mention the four part setting because both the opening verse and ‘Deposuit potentes’ are taken directly from that setting which was…

William, Monk of Stratford: Magnificat a 4

I can tell you almost nothing about William Stratford he’s described in the Eton Choirbook as ‘monachus Stratfordiae’ which means he must have been a a monk of the Cistercian abbey of Stratford-atte-Bowe in what is now East London. His  four-part setting of the Magnificat is one of the very few settings in the Eton…

William Byrd (±1539-1623): Nunc Dimittis from the Great Service

Byrd’s settings for the Great Service took Anglican music forward from its hesitant and somewhat experimental phase into somewhat more splendid territory. He probably wrote the Magnificat (about which I wrote last Friday see: William Byrd (±1539-1623): Magnificat from the Great Service | Saturday Chorale) and the Nunc Dimittis last it’s beautiful music which manages…

Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676): Magnificat A Sei Voci

Cavalli was born in Crema in February 1602 the son of Giovanni Battista Caletti Bruni, who at that time was maestro di cappella in Crema’s Cathedral. He had a particularly beautiful voice, so much so that Federigo Cavalli, the chief magistrate of the city and one of Venice’s foremost aristocrats took the then fourteen-year old…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Magnificat RV610a

There are several versions of Vivaldi’s Magnificat in G minor the earliest would most likely have been written for the Pietà and dates to some time in or around 1715. Early in the 1720s Vivaldi revisited it reworking the lower voices to make them more suitable for lower voices and adding a pair oboes for…