King’s College Service
by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange
“Melodious, uplifting & accessible”
A setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
For SATB & organ
Published by RSCM
Having been a church-goer all my life, I have been privileged to have seen the whole spectrum of worship in the UK, from the humble parish church Sunday service with its traditional choir of local volunteers right up to the high-end, daily cathedral evensongs, with their choristers, choral scholars and lay clerks, and pretty much everything in between. When I write music which is to be sung within the context of the liturgy, my overall aim is to set the text in such a way that the congregation hears the words clearly and, through the medium of music, is drawn closer to their meaning.
I was delighted to receive a commission from Ben Parry for this set of canticles for King’s Voices, the mixed student choir which sings Monday evensongs in the stunning chapel of King’s College in Cambridge. As I set the familiar texts, I consciously wrote the kind of music which could be enjoyed not only by experienced choirs such as King’s Voices but also by the parish church choirs of the kind in which I grew up singing. Whether a choir has the ability to sight-read it on the day or whether it has to practice it for weeks in advance, I hope that the members of the congregation who hear this setting will be moved by the beauty of the words of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.
Listen to King’s Voices accompanied by Eleanor Carter (organ) and conducted by Ben Parry, recorded summer 2019 (recording shared by kind permission of the Dean of King’s College Cambridge, Stephen Cherry):