11. Simeon's hymn (Nunc dimittis)

A cappella version: PDF     MIDI (13 KB)     MP3 (3 MB)     Sibelius4

Version with organ: PDF     MIDI (20 KB)     MP3 (4 MB)     Sibelius4

Dedication: To Johannes Ockeghem.

Text: Luke 2:29-32 in English (King James version), followed by minor doxology in Latin.

Musicians: SATB chorus, occasionally divisi, with short S descant. Optional organ accompaniment. (Separate organ part follows score in the .pdf file.)

Length: 4 minutes.

Style: Renaissance forms, with gentle pandiatonic harmony and smooth modulations.

Program notes: A companion piece to “Mary’s hymn (Magnificat),” with parallel structure but different melodies. The initial theme introduced by the basses is echoed one bar later by the tenors (canon at the 6th) and also by the altos and sopranos at 1/2 speed and 1/3 speed, respectively (prolation canon). The middle section uses free imitative polyphony and familiar style. The ending doxology repeats the initial canon under Gregorian tone VIIIG.

Performance suggestions: Variations of dynamic are not marked in the score (or used in the MP3 & MIDI files); they are at the discretion of performers. If the organ is used, it may begin at either bar 1 or bar 16/rehearsal A.

[Simeon the Righteous]

Simeon the Righteous

Candlemas icon, end of XV c.

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Fresh Choral Music Online, by Peter Bird of Los Angeles