The Kennedy Center


About the Work

Arvo Pärt Composer: Arvo Pärt
© James Potter

The Magnificat follows O Emmanuel - just as it would in a service of Vespers on the last day of Advent. Mary's hymn is her response to the Angel Gabriel's foretelling of her destiny, to bear the Son of God. The Magnificat accordingly speaks of acceptance and humility in the face of God's word. Pärt's setting manages to find both majesty and mystery in these words, even whilst remaining always within F minor. His characteristic tintinnabuli style of melodic voices sounding against and within triadic harmony is shown here to haunting effect.