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Nunc Dimittis : St Nicolas Canticles for SAB Choir and Piano

by Becky Llewellyn (2020)

Work Overview

The Nunc Dimittis is a lullaby with text from Simeon after he had been presented with baby Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. It is the gentlest of all Llewellyn's pieces, set in C major, a quietly affirmation of faith and joy. The choir sing some of their parts independent of the piano part which is a kind of rainbow of sound.

This work is usually sung after the Magnificat and together they are called Canticles. It is a long musical tradition which most of the classical choral composers have contributed to. The St Nicolas Canticles are two interconnected but separate choral works for worship with texts from the King James version of the Gospel of Luke.

Written in 2020 when singing has become a dangerous and often banned activity, the Canticles proclaim the essential timeless beauty and solace of sacred music.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: SAB choir, piano.

Duration: 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium — choir must be able to count their part separately to the accompaniment

Commission note: Commissioned by Ewart Shaw for performance by Quire St Nicolas.. Commissioned for the Quire St Nicolas, an Anglican choir in Adelaide in which Ewart and Becky both sing.

First performance: by Quire St Nicolas, Deborah Osman at All Souls' Service (St Richard's of Chichester) on 5 Nov 2021

Text is from the Bible: Luke 2:29-32.


Performances of this work

10 Apr 2022: at Palm Sunday Evensong (St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, Clarence Gardens). Featuring Quire St Nicolas, Deborah Osman.

5 Nov 2021: at All Souls' Service (St Richard's of Chichester). Featuring Quire St Nicolas, Deborah Osman.

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