Giles Swayne: Magnificat

Books | 2 Soprano, 2 Alto, 2 Tenor, 2 Bass

Publisher: Novello
Composer: Giles Swayne
Format: Sheet Music | Vocal Work
The Magnificat was written in 1982 in response to a commission from Christ Church College, Oxford, whose choir first performed it under their conductor Francis Grier in July of that year. At that time the composer was influenced by his belated discovery of African music. During a period of research in Senegal and The Gambia he recorded a working-song in a small village called Badem Karantaba, about thirty miles south-east of Ziguinchor in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. Swayne used the opening call of this song to begin the Magnificat; it returns as a refrain towards the end.
Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced Explain this
Language: English
Catalogue No: NOV290590

        Musicroom Reviews

        Inspired by African drumming competitions and quoting from a Swahili ploughing song, this unaccompanied Latin setting isn't for the faint-hearted choir. Singers have to be good at counting offbeat quavers; anyone who loses count might as well drop out, and skip forward two pages to the chordal chanting. Nevertheless, this is Swayne's masterpiece - a fun and rewarding sing, and a spectacular experience for the audience.
        Anonymous - (Liverpool, United Kingdom)
        A highly original setting of the evening canticles which is reminiscent of African chant or perhaps even a 'rain dance' or similar. One of the most striking and complicated evocations that has surfaced in recent decades to which no recording can do true justice.
        George Richford - (Rochester)
        I have just recently heard this work performed at Canterbury Cathedral for the first time, and I must say it took my breath away. David Flood did a fine job in the execution of this peace, which, with its echos of african chant and rousing counterpoints, has to be the best Magnificat written for many many years. Difficult, maybe but any choir worth its sort should attempt this work. You will not be disappointed.
        George Richford - (Rochester)
        This is a gem. I'm no musicologist, but this tickled my ear delightfully, especially compared to the usual Christmas carols.
        Anonymous - (Walthamstow)

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        Giles Swayne: Magnificat
        2 Soprano, 2 Alto, 2 Tenor, 2 Bass