Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G (Olim: in A) (BCP)
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,542
    A Mag. and Nunc. in A (Mixolydian) that I've been working on. Not completed yet. Thoughts?

    (There is no rehearsal accomp. on this yet - I will put one in though.)

    [edit. Thanks chonak!]

    [Edit: new score and midi attached below.]
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,542
    Attached is a MIDI file. [Edit: new score & midi attached below.]
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,245
    I like the Mag. setting very much and have sent you some comments.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,245
    Initial comment: Note that, except for a couple of matters of execution, my detailed comments about the Magnificat score really have to do with engraving issues and not musical issues. And, as such, they represent what I try to do as a musical editor/engraver (not that I always succeed, even with my own works). Henry and I think alike on a lot of things, and I've been assured that he doesn't mind my posting these comments, as a means of trying to help others in their own score preparation.

    This Magnificat setting is really quite nice from what I all that I can tell, and I think that it could well be a major addition to the repertoire. Therefore, I do not wish to lessen his accomplishment by what I've tried to make as helpful comments that could, just as well, be useful to others.

    1. The altos and basses being forced to sing high E so many times (albeit in unison passages) really suggests that your final version be taken down a whole step (key signature no sharps or flats).

    2. Altos should have no difficulty singing the low B notes (A, if transposed as suggested), and I don't see the rationale for suggesting the alto passage in m.45-47 might be taken by the first tenors.

    3. The double dotting in m.13 seems a little extreme and very likely adds to the successful navigation of the passage by the sopranos and altos. I would either go with a (single) dotted minim followed by a crotchet or, possibly, change the time signature of that bar to 4/2, putting "-hold" on a semibreve, inserting a crotchet rest and putting "from" on a crotchet.

    4. In m.15, you properly use a tied minim to crotchet to expose the middle beat of the 4/2 bar; however, in the next bar (m.16) which is in 3/2, the two tied minims prevent the exposure of at least one of the second or third beats of the triple time bar. The suggested form would be to render "-ed" either as a crotchet tied to a dotted minim or as a crotchet tied to a minim tied to a crotchet. Also, while the tie in m.17 is not wrong (since the crotchet rest exposed beat three), for uniformity with the similar pattern of m.16, it would be better that the second beat also be exposed, with "-ed" rendered as a crotchet tied to a minim (instead of your minim tied to a crotchet). These are formatting issues and protocols for musical engraving, as found, for instance, in Elaine Gould's "Behind Bars" which is the definitive work on the subject.

    5. In m.21-22, there are essentially the same tie problems as in m.16.

    6. In m.23, a 4/2 bar, the dotted minim should be replaced by a minim tied to a crotchet, so as to expose the middle beat of the bar (cf. my comment 4 above). And in m.30, the semibreve on the second beat hides the middle beat of the 4/2 bar, so it should be replaced with two tied minims; however, as a matter of musical execution (as opposed to simply a formatting question), I think that perhaps "-tions." might better be assigned a beat and a half, rendered as a minim tied to a crotchet (to expose the middle beat of the bar), followed by a crotchet rest.

    7. In m.34 the soprano underlay "hat" should read "hath".

    8. In m.40 a slur curve in the alto would be helpful (in fact, slurs are not to be deprecated, but rather are to be favored).

    9. In m.43, the dotted minim is correct, since the second beat of the 3/2 bar is exposed.

    10. In m.51, the whole note on the second beat should be replaced by two tied minims (expose the middle of the bar).

    11. Last bar, the "longa" doesn't render properly unless you use the old square notehead. Rather than striving to emulate the old style, though, you might simply put a fermata on the breve (double whole). The way you have just looks wrong.

    Finally, many thanks to Salieri for reading through these comments before permitting me to post them.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • This is really nice, Salieri. I can envision a free organ accompaniment, perhaps a la Howells, etc.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,542
    Many thanks, Chuck. I have penciled in these corrections into my score.

    About the tenor divisi, mm45-7, my only reason for putting it there (as an option, it was actually an afterthought) was for timbre, not range. That is, in my head, I've been hearing an all-male choir: boy trebles, male altos, so the previous measures (42-45) would be sung Treble/Treble/Counter, and the next, Counter/Ten/Bass, which I think works with the male altos acting as a link binding the two sections of the choir together; whereas in a mixed ensemble it might sound better to have mm42-45 sung by the women (SSA) and mm45-47 sung by the men (TTB) to create more contrast.

    Does this make sense, or am I overthinking things? (I do have a tendency so to do!)

    MJO, thanks for your comments. About the organ: oddly enough, when I began this setting in 2011, when I got bogged down at m. 23, it did have an organ accompaniment. When I picked up the piece again a few months ago, I decided that the organ part I had written didn't work, so I deep-sixed it. Perhaps when I've finished the Nunc, I'll do an organ part. I guess I'll have to start reading through some of my Howells scores again!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,542
    New version attached (PDF & MIDI): Typographical errors corrected per Chuck's comments above; Nunc completed. The whole thing has been transposed down a step, so it is now: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in G.

    Again, thanks for the comments. Any comments will be appreciated.

    BTW, I am a Tenor, so unfortunately I have a tendency to write high Bass parts, apologies to any profundi!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,542
    Version with Rehearsal accompaniment.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,542
    I have worked on this a bit (I've ditched the rehearsal accomp. for the moment), and am attaching the latest rendition.

    I've also re-titled it "Short Service in G".