Magnificat and Nunc Dimmittis Between the staff and congregations of Stavanger Cathedral in Norway and Winchester Cathedral in England there exists a strong bond of friendship. There are frequent exchange visits where there is a beneficial sharing of experience and an opportunity to take part in each others’ worship.Many long-lasting friendships have blossomed under this bond. The Canticles Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis are central to the Anglican office of Choral Evensong.Norway has no well-established equivalent of Choral Evensong so the opportunity for a Norwegian choir to sing an Evensong in one of England’s great cathedrals will always be something of a special occasion. This set was written for Stavanger Cathedral Girls’ Choir and their conductor, Jorunn Lovise Husan and were given their first liturgical performance at a Festal Choral Evensong in Winchester Cathedral in June 2017 for which occasion they were written.The first non-liturgical performance of these canticles was given at a concert in Portsmouth Cathedral a few days earlier. Although the organ part was written with the sound and resources of Winchester Cathedral’s large Willis/Harrison organ in mind, it works quite well on a smaller instrument. The canticles were first tried out accompanied on a single manual instrument with only a little loss of overall effect, although the range of colour and volume afforded by a larger instrument is certainly effect, although the range of colour and volume afforded by a larger instrument is certainly desirable. So as not to restrict the imagination of players who may have the possibility of exploiting a variety of registrations and different manuals, the score provides only dynamic indications.
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