Magnificat 2. Of a Rose, a lovely Rose

John Rutter



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Of a Rose, a lovely Rose is the second of seven movements comprising John Rutter’s setting of the biblical canticle Magnificat, completed in 1990. Rutter was inspired by “jubilant celebrations of Mary in Hispanic cultures” and conceived the work as a “bright Latin-flavoured fiesta”. In countries such as Spain, Mexico and Puerto Rico, feast days of the Virgin are joyous opportunities to take to the streets and celebrate with singing, dancing and processions. Rutter inserted an anonymous English poem from the 15th century, Of a Rose, a lovely Rose, as the second movement. Marked “Tranquil and flowing”, it imitates chant singing, with flexible times and in doric mode. The poet imagines Jesus as a rose springing from Mary. This arrangement for combined Concert Band and Chorus may also be performed by band alone, and is a faithful representation of the original composition.

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