Good Lord's Day and Shavua Tov to you!
In 1990 Rutter decided to tackle a passage from the Gospel of Luke known as the Magnificat. Johann Sebastian Bach had written the definitive treatment of this work in Latin, and few composers felt brave enough to try it since. Rutter decided to add an English poem as a movement and throw in a Marian prayer, the Sanctus and the Doxology as parts of the piece. But where Rutter broke the mold was in casting the piece with a Mexican flavor. Quite unusual for a Brit! First, lets have the composer explain what he has wrought.
If youre a chorister, you can follow along with the score.
For a second movement, Rutter turns to an old English poem.
It starts like a Baroque overture with vocal parts. At 4:45 the introduction of the Sanctus is breathtaking.
There is an attacca, which means the fourth movement should begin without pause. I dont have that option here, unfortunately. This movement is a three-handkerchief piece. Patricia Forbes soprano voice has a mezzo quality to it. This is the most ravishing melody in the piece. It starts in A-flat and progresses through the various keys, with Forbes singing the theme as a counter-melody at times. The high A-flat at 4:03 is amazing.
Rutter now goes warlike. There is a hint of John Williams here.
There is another attacca here no pause. Forbes does another amazing job with this song. The modulation at 2:44 from B-flat to D-flat is breathtaking.
Rutter adds the Doxology, and then inserts a Marian prayer sung by Forbes in the middle of it. He wraps it up with the opening theme to make it a cyclic piece.