These settings of the Evensong canticles, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis came about after a commission by Christopher Burton for a Nunc Dimittis setting for the Radcliffe-on-Trent Male Voice Choir, of which he is the musical director.
After writing the Nunc Dimittis in April 2010, the composer wished to explore the variety of musical colours set up in the setting in another work, logically, the Magnificat, also including a Gloria to be sung following the Magnificat and also the Nunc Dimittis, if sung liturgically. (NB. The Nunc Dimittis may be sung on its own without the Gloria if desired.)
Magnificat My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold from henceforth all generations shall call be blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me, and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm, he hath scattered the proud, in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from the seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel, as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.