Recording of first performance, Newbury 2011
Kristy Swift (soprano)
Peter Wilman (tenor)
Jeremy Hagan (bass)
Newbury Chamber Choir & Players
conducted by Edward Lambert
This cantata, which takes as its theme the Annunciation, contains arrangements of four medieval carols for SATB choir with instrumental accompaniment (ad lib) and for which I have provided singing translations with the intention of making these beautiful pieces more accessible to contemporary choirs and audiences. The remaining movements are original and contain a semi-dramatic triptych: there are settings of two scenes extracted from the medieval mystery plays with the text freely adapted for musical purposes. A third, central scene is for Mary alone, in which she sings the Magnificat from the Book of Common Prayer. In addition, there are two short instrumental sonatas and a setting for sopranos and altos of the 13th century lyric known as a hymn to the Virgin.
The work was created as a companion piece to the composer's English arrangement of Schütz' Christmas Story for a concert given by the Newbury Chamber Choir in December 2011. Although the cantata is designed to be performed as a whole, any sections from the work may be performed in any order.
Mary - soprano
The Angel Gabriel - tenor
Joseph - bass
Elizabeth - optional speaking role
Choir - SATB
Flute, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, Harp
The vocal score provides choral parts for the carols and nos. 3, 5, 7 & 9 with keyboard reduction.
The Magnificat is also available in an arrangement for soprano solo & piano, and Of One That Is So Fair And Bright is available for sopranos & altos with harp accompaniment or for SATB with piano accompaniment
Duration: about 35 minutes