St Nicolas Canticles for SAB Choir and Piano
Sacred choral Magnificat for the Anglican service of Evening Prayer. Would also suit Catholic worship services.
Soprano, alto and baritone with piano/organ.
The St Nicolas Canticles are two interconnected but separate choral works for worship referred to by their Latin names, the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, with texts from the King James version of the Gospel of Luke.
The Magnificat has been set by hundreds of composers over time and Llewellyn continues in this tradition with a new setting. It begins with the words in the Luke gospel reading, “And Mary said,” which are conventionally omitted by male composers.
Llewellyn’s Magnificat explores the many emotions of Mary when talking of the power and majesty of God, who so impacted her life. The score uses the Ahava Rabbah scales of ancient Jewish music, placing the sounds of Mary’s sacred music closer to its geographical heartland. The music uses cycles of phrases to emphasize Mary’s deep transformation as she grasps what God wants her life to be, a prophetic pilgrimage of mercy, love and courage.
Written in 2020 when singing has become a dangerous and often banned activity because of Covid-19, the 4 minutes and 20 seconds long Magnificat proclaims the essential timeless beauty and solace of sacred music. Together with the Nunc Dimittis, the cycle is 7 minutes long.
It is suitable for a skilled SAB choir and piano accompanist. The Canticles were commissioned by Ewart Shaw for the Quire St Nicolas, an Anglican choir in Adelaide in which Ewart and Becky both sing.
Click on score to enlarge