Seven Magnificat Antiphons
Christian Carey, Composer
World Premier performed by the Wesley Choir November 15 – December 13, 2015 Wesley United Methodist Church Vienna, Virginia
Directed by Gareth H Bond, DMA
Translation by Brendan C Muse
Antiphons began in the Ancient Grecian Age as main actors/speakers would lead conversations and two vocal choruses on either side of the stage would engage each other sometimes repetitively, other times as question‐answer, yet others as differences of opinion.
As time progressed, this form found its way into the church as separate smaller choirs or choirs of voice qualities (e.g. men’s versus boy’s timbres), more along the ‘question‐answer’ arrangement.
In this very interesting composition, Mr. Carey invites yet other forms of antiphonal writing: 1) Intertwined choral and quintet (five voice) options and antiphons imbedded within the composition itself without the exclusivity of the individual voice and 2) By using the color (timbre) of the voice part development by “high‐low” arrangements rather than any one type divisi.
Eclectically influenced these works house styles of Chant, Renaissance, pre‐Baroque, Baroque forward.
Perhaps the SMAs best format of performance might be with a choir of 32 to 40 equally divided members and voicing. But the smaller size of the Wesley Choir and its quality of vocal talent retains its inclusion as a viable performance medium for this wonderful composition and collection of seven antiphons each based on one of the verses of a favorite Carol, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.
About the composer:
Christian Carey is an Associate Professor of Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in
Princeton, New Jersey. He serves on the Board of Directors of the League of Composers/ISCM and as Managing Editor of the contemporary classical website Sequenza 21. His music has been performed by ACME, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, Cassatt String Quartet, C4 Choral Ensemble, Chiasmus, Ionisation New Music Ensemble, League of Composers, loadbang, Locrian Chamber Players, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, Righteous Girls, St. Dunstan’s Choir, and St. Gregory’s Choir and appears on New Focus Records and a Perspectives of New Music/Open Space CD. He has published articles and reviews in Perspectives of New Music, Tempo, Integral, Musical America, Musicworks, Playbill, and Time Out NY. He has a book chapter in Hommage a Elliott Carter, published by Editions Delatour.