for Solo Soprano and Orchestra (2 Flutes and Strings)
My setting of the Magnificat is for solo soprano and orchestra (strings and flutes) and is in two movements. Â I’ll admit my ignorance â€“ I don’t know of any other settings of this text set for a solo soprano. Â I must have sung a bazillion Anglican church anthems on this text, but they’re all for choir. Â Anyhoo, it just made sense to me somehow.
I thought I was making a major mistake while writing this piece, because I kind of had a hybrid of several different lady sopranos’ voices in my head. Â The incomparably versatile Laura Lynch came in and nailed it, thus proving me wrong (or right, as the case may be).
Addendum (2012): Years later, I finally made a piano reduction of this piece.Â Here it is sung by the lovely Rebecca Johnson Lovering (who sang in the chorus of the original TKC recording):
I wrote this piece specifically to be included onÂ Cedille Record‘s American Choral Premieres CD (released May 2009). Â I wrote it with the virtuosity of the William Ferris Chorale in mind. Â The liner notes to the disc are the first time that anybody has ever written about my music (besides me). Â I really started at the top here — Andrea Lamoreaux wrote such insightful commentary about this piece that I feel it’s only right to quote her:
White’s setting is radically different from most in that he recounts the entire story of which the sentences beginning “Nunc dimittis” (Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace) form the central core. Â The result is a miniature narrative cantata in which there are three characters; the infant Jesus, Mary his mother, and the prophet Simeon. Â It’s a vivid scene involving both human drama and divine promise.