SSA chorus, four-hand piano or chamber orchestra
Commissioned by St. Mary’s College Notre Dame, Indiana
October 14, 1994 by the St. Mary's College Women's Choir and the South Bend Symphony, Nancy Menk, conductor, in South Bend, IN
Oxford University Press Piano/Vocal Score Cat. No. 9780193859852. Full Score and Parts available through C.F. Peters' rental department.
This is a joyful Canticle of Mary. In the text, Mary acclaims the Lord. When I started work on the Canticle of Mary I went to the dictionary to read about the word "acclaim" and discovered that the first definition of the word is "to salute with shouts or sounds of joy and approval." I loved this definition because it suggests that when Mary "acclaims" the Lord, she not only accepts the conception but she shouts her approval. To me, this is a different image of Mary at the Visitation than I have known. I wanted the music to reflect this resounding, noisy kind of joy in the music. I decided to compose the vocal lines as straightforward and melodic to represent Mary in her "humble" acclamation. The instrumental music could then express jubilance, energy and celebration in its tempo and textures. The solo oboe presents exuberance and free spirit.
I am honored to have been asked to compose the Canticle of Mary in celebration of the 150 anniversary of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Working with Dr. Nancy Menk is a great inspiration.
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