Winchester Service

Published: 2024

It fascinates me that the words of the Magnificat were considered by some to be so radical that they were banned in some parts of the world. Believed to be the words of Mary, phrases like “filled the hungry,” “exalted the humble and meek,” and “the rich sent empty away” resonate with me, and I’d like to think they resonate with many people today just as they have for centuries, despite the bans. There is also a great sense of storytelling to the text, as these phrases take us from one idea to the next, ultimately offering a sense of peace and contentment, then reaffirmed by the uplifting words of the Nunc Dimittis. I’ve endeavoured to reflect this story with music that rises and falls, contrasted by more static choral sonorities and underpinned by a gentle perpetuum mobile organ accompaniment. At the conclusion of each canticle, “Amen” takes us to a place that is vast, peaceful and celestial. It is my hope that these canticles may offer a uniquely Australian response to a text that has echoed throughout churches and cathedrals for centuries.

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