• Matthew Martin
  • A Rose Magnificat (2017)
    (Motet for double choir)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by The Gabrieli Consort

Commissioned by the Gabrieli Consort and first performed on 8th June 2017 in St John's Smith Square, London, conducted by Paul McCreesh.

  • SATB/SATB with divisi
  • 10 min 20 s

Programme Note

I was asked by Paul to write this piece following the recording by the Gabrieli Consort of my setting of Adam Lay y bounden on their Christmas album ‘Incarnation’. We both came up with the idea of an interpolated Magnificat and decided on a setting of the Latin text together with verses of the fifteenth century carol ‘There is no rose’.

The piece is written for double choir and, as the work progresses, so the mediaeval carol text, which appears very much from beneath the surface towards to beginning, becomes more insistent - piercing though the rather quartal texture of the Latin setting with long suspended lines and sharp dissonance. In fact, the whole piece is rather reliant on the interval of a fourth and in parts adopts a rather Eastern or Byzantine flavour. The Latin refrains of the carol setting (Pares forma, Transeamus, Alleluia) take on a more homophonic, quasi Stravinskian, character each time they appear - and the whole work reaches a ecstatic climax of strident suspension and dissonance over eight parts for the final Alleluia refrain as part the Gloria.