Oliver Tarney, Serafine Chamber Choir & Sinfonia, Manvinder Rattan - Magnificat

Published Sunday 18th October 2015
Oliver Tarney, Serafine Chamber Choir & Sinfonia, Manvinder Rattan - Magnificat
Oliver Tarney, Serafine Chamber Choir & Sinfonia, Manvinder Rattan  - Magnificat

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Convivium CR030

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

The composition was commissioned by Manvinder Rattan and Sing For Pleasure to celebrate its Golden Jubilee in 2014 and the recording was crowd-funded the following year. "My soul doth magnify the Lord" usually elicits the most exultant of musical reactions from most noted composers. This one, however, offers a more human response and in a style which touches ones soul in an exceptional manner. Picture this: Mary is 16 and living in Roman-occupied Judaea. Composer Oliver Tarney is not convinced that the news that she was to be the mother of God, out of conventional wedlock, would have necessarily made her heart leap with joy in the first instance. In this newly-commissioned work in 12 movements, Tarney has interpolated the traditional poem from the Gospel of Luke with Apocryphal and Old Testament texts as well as extracts from the Book of Maryam from the Qur'an. The fuller picture this paints changes the way we think of this important Bible story and Tarney sets the whole with memorably exquisite musical colours which reminds this listener of John Tavener with a hint of John Rutter. In a world riven with division and violence based on religious lines, this piece reminds us of what we could have in common if we looked a little harder. Scored for string orchestra, choir, string quartet and soloists, Tarney's 'Magnificat' is here performed by Serafine Chamber Choir which is made up of some of the most talented young conductors in the country, all of whom have been taught by director Manvinder Rattan. The singing and playing are a joy to hear and this new version of the ancient song of praise is well worth hearing.

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