Conductor Notes:

I had trouble finding this work on the internet except referred to on Gwyneth’s website. As with everything of hers we have performed, this Magnificat has a beautiful simplicity and much to commend it. The singers and I absolutely loved the gentle undulations of the mixed meters and the sheer outpourings of joy of the “Magnificat” moments. A soloist carries much of the opening of the piece. I programmed it because we had a brass quintet in our Christmas concert and I was looking for new things, but we subsequently recorded it with neither the brass nor the Tom-Toms. I think only with a large choir would the balance with brass really work, as their part is mostly punctuating the structure of the work in an accompanying role. This may explain why I can’t find any recordings of the work. Aside from balancing the forces, the challenges for the conductor are the many decisions that have to be made on how to subdivide the mixed meter measures. Often what works for the piano or brass is working against the word stress. However, this is only “our” problem. To the listener, it all goes together brilliantly. I would love to see this piece done by more choirs. Balance issues aside, Elektra loved it.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.



For solo mezzo-soprano, SSAA choir and brass quintet, percussion (3 Tom-Toms: high/medium/low and shaker), and piano.  The score says “from Bethesda Evensong”.  Copyright 1992.