William Bennett
(fl.1770 - 1775)

Bennett : Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in E minor : illustration

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in E minor
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William Bennett is believed to have practised as a singing teacher in Combeinteignhead, South Devon, throughout the 1770's. His extant published collection had an extensive subscription list, with a strong local flavour: "A New set of Psalm Tunes and Anthems, in four Parts, for the Use of Country Choirs: with an Introduction to Music: by William Bennett. Exeter: printed for the Author, and sold by Edward Score, Bookseller, and James Wallis in Plymouth. Exeter. Printed by R. Trewman behind the Cathedral." c.1770.

"Country Choirs" is a term often used to mean choirs in parish churches and proprietary chapels, as yet without an organ installed. Other instruments were employed instead (particularly 'cello or bassoon to reinforce the bass). Bennett has provided sufficient clues (cues) to indicate that he intended a bass instrument to be employed in this piece. The editorial keyboard reduction should be used only for practice, and not performance. If a bass instrument is available, there are short sections in which the Bass singers should remain silent; at those places the underlay is written in parentheses [].
Lyrics: Book of Common Prayer, 1662

My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel: as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen: thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared: before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles: and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.