Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Year's Music: Hovhaness' Magnificat

Continuing until Advent 2016, I plan to listen each week to at least one musical work with some sacred or spiritual dimension, as a kind of pleasurable spiritual discipline.

This morning, our pastor preached on Mary and the Magnificat. Over the weekend I've been listening "Magnificat," by a favorite composer, Alan Hovhaness, about whom I write here.

This site, describing the recording to which I'm listening, provides information about the piece, for instance: "Hovhaness shows us another side of his spirituality in 'Magnificat,' of which he says 'I have tried to suggest the mystery, inspiration, and mysticism of early Christianity in this work.' His blend of Eastern and Western styles allows him to suggest the Near Eastern and Orthodox elements of early Christianity in this music, which is as haunting, as mesmerizing as we’ve come to expect from Hovhaness – perhaps even more so with its chant-like vocal lines."I particularly love the "Gloria" section at the end.

Here is a recording of the piece, on YouTube:
There are many other Magnificats in music, and I hope to get to others during the upcoming year.

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