NUNC DIMITTIS (The Song of Simeon) is written for six-part mixed voices (SSAATB) and tenor soloist.
For a successful performance this work requires a choir of some size, with broad expressive qualities: rhythmic intensity, a dynamic range from pp to ff and a warm, lyrical tone.
Nunc Dimittis is one of the three Canticles in the New Testament. The other two are Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah) and Magnificat (The Song of Mary). The canticles are lyrical songs in a similar style to the Psalms, but found elsewhere in the Bible. Nunc Dimittis is from the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 29 to 32: “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace…”
Magnificat (Cantando no. C2183) and Nunc Dimittis are two separate compositions, and can be performed independently of each other. They are at the same time related, both as regards the words and the musical material. It would therefore be appropriate to perform them together, as complementary to each other: male and female, youth and old age.
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis can of course be used liturgically in an Anglican-style Evensong, where both these canticles are prescribed.
From the new CD "Choral music by John Høybye" with the outstanding vocal-ensemble: VOCES NORDICAE (cond. Lone Larsen).
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