Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by John Kilpatrick

The Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F have some unusual features, especially the parallel use of Latin and English. They would require a little more than the usual rehearsal time that cathedral choirs and similar allocate for a service. Each of the SATB parts divides. The Organ parts are not marked up for stops, which should be decided by the organist; stem directions probably help, in places.

The Magnificat has the Tenor & Bass (2 to 4 parts) in Latin, and the Soprano & Alto (2 to 4 parts) in English. Generally the Latin leads, but the languages overlap. The first 3 verses have a similar opening, but with excursions into different keys. The next section ("And His mercy . . / Et misericordia . .") is a 4-part double-fugue on a 12-bar cycle of 24 keys (though the fugal effect expires after 9 bars); this section ends with two contrasting interpretations: the English  "He hath scattered the proud-in-the-imagination-of-their-hearts" (i.e. the conceited), and the Latin "Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui" (i.e. "by the force of his mind"). Three verses follow with another theme repeated at semitone intervals, before the final verse which ends in G. The Gloria flips back to F, at first echoing the opening of the piece; the word-painting for "As it was . ./ Sicut erat . ." is obtained by using the "schoolboy" scale of C major.

The Nunc Dimittis has the language roles reversed. The upper parts comprise a series of chords over which the lower parts sing a plainsong-like unison, repeated in keys a major third apart, thereby getting back to F again for a new section "Lumen de lumine". The Gloria is complementary to that of the Magnificat.

I've uploaded PDF and MIDI versions. It's not easy to select sensible instruments for the midi versions - I've done my best!
notes: The pdf may download slowly.
          The midi files don't make much sense without the music - get the pdf first!

 printable PDF version complete     MIDI version of the Magnificat    MIDI version of the Nunc

Update 25 Feb 201: a few typographical changes, and hyphenation improvements