The Choir of St. John's College Cambridge & Andrew Nethsingha Lyrics

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""My soul doth magnify the Lord:
And my spirit hath rejoiced in
God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded:
The lowliness of his hand-maiden.
For behold, from henceforth:
All generations shall call me 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 shewed strength with his arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the
Imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their 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 Ghost
As it was in the beginning, is now,
And ever shall be:

World without end.

Overall Meaning

These lyrics are a modern interpretation of the biblical passage known as the Magnificat, which is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. The text is attributed to the Virgin Mary and expresses her profound gratitude and awe towards God for choosing her to bear his son, Jesus Christ. The opening line, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," sets the tone for the entire passage, highlighting the singer's deep reverence for God and his greatness.

The lyrics continue by emphasizing the humility and gratitude of the singer, who refers to herself as a "hand-maiden" and acknowledges God's mercy towards those who fear him. The text also speaks of God's power and ability to humble the proud and lift up the humble. It emphasizes God's justice, showing strength against the arrogant and providing for the needy while sending the rich away empty-handed.

The passage then reflects on God's faithfulness and mercy towards his people, specifically mentioning his promises to Abraham and his descendants. This serves as a reminder of God's enduring love and commitment to his people throughout generations. The final lines invoke the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) and affirm the eternal nature of God's glory and presence in the world.

Overall, these lyrics from the Magnificat convey a profound sense of reverence, gratitude, and awe towards God's power, mercy, and faithfulness. The text celebrates the transformative nature of God's actions, from lifting up the lowly to fulfilling promises made to his people. It serves as a powerful declaration of faith and praise, highlighting the ongoing presence of God's love and grace in the lives of believers.

Written by: Bryan Kelly

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Comments from YouTube:

Erich Groat

This disc is phenomenal, highlight of the year in any genre. Leighton's Canticle is impossible to sing perfectly, but they do it anyway. Go buy it!

R Jackson

I like the Director of Music's metaphor for the choral sound, as the sparkles of light on a changeable sea.

Jon B

There's a good reason that Stanford is the background to this "advert", rather than Tippett's formulaic dross and the rubbish (IMO) that Leighton produced. After all, one doesn't want to put off one's punters!
As Mr Nethsingha says, he wanted to provide something for all tastes, but why go so far down the road of disjointed dissonance with two settings that hardly show off the British choral tradition at its best? Far better to have another Stanford and another Howells - plenty to choose from there. Howells Coll Reg and Stanford in G would have been eminently suitable - the former is archetypal Howells brilliance and the latter is archetypal writing for treble solo.
However, if he wanted to stay with no more than one offering from any composer, there are all the Renaissance/Tudor works - Byrd, Gibbons, Tomkins, Purcell - glorious stuff. Then again, if he didn't want to go back so early but still wanted to keep things British, he still has many time-honoured settings to choose from - Ouseley, Murrill, Ireland, Brewer, Walmisley, Wood...
Gabriel Jackson is clearly an excellent and generally unpretentious composer, so his Truro service is a lovely inclusion, and demonstrates how modern works can fit seamlessly into the great tradition of beautiful, soul-satisfying sound as opposed to noise for the sake of noise and clash for the sake of clash.

So although I wish this wonderful, talented, hard-working choir and music director well, I certainly won't be buying the CD because I would not listen to four of its tracks. I thank heaven that although when I was a cathedral treble forty years ago we did some tough stuff, at least we didn't have to learn Leighton and Tippett.

Jon B

BVale Apologies for discourtesy of such a late response to your interesting post - for some reason I didn't spot it in my emails until now.
I understand the political philosophy behind your point, but still can't enjoy the work. Actually, I can't think of anything by Tippett that I have ever enjoyed, unfortunately.
I remember a musician once saying that although it would be difficult, if not impossible, to choose his dozen most-loved pieces of music, never mind his favourite one, he thought that one discriminatory test might be to consider the music he would most like to die hearing.
This made me think about the same scenario, and didn't help all that much, but I suppose I could get the number or works down to half a dozen or so. And the Stanford in A Nunc would be right there at the top, I think.

John Adlington

Looks like his dad :)

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