David Ashley White

Composer David Ashley White
TextCarl P. Daw, Jr., 1986
Voicing Unison/Two-part, organ
Price $2.00 (U.S.)
Length 3' 25" Released 6/15
Catalog no. 410-653
Difficulty Mod. easy


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Anthem text
My soul proclaims with wonder
the greatness of the Lord;
rejoicing in God's goodness,
my spirit is restored.

To me God has shown favor,
to one the world though frail;
and every age will echo
the angel's first "All hail."

God's mercy shields the faithful
and saves them from defeat
with strength that turns to scatter
the proud in their conceit.

The mighty have been vanquished;
the lowly lifted up.
The hungry find abundance;
the rich, an empty cup.

To Abraham's descendants
the Lord will steadfast prove,
for God has made with Israel
a covenant of love.

--Carl P. Daw, Jr.

© 1989 Hope Publishing Company, 380 S Main Pl, Carol Stream, IL 60188

review copy

Description An effective, simpler choral setting of the Magnificat for Advent or evensong, that alternates between S.A. and T.B. and unison for varied texture. Carl Daw's paraphrase is a wonderful contemporary resetting of this canticle.

“Carl Daw’s masterful paraphrase of the Magnificat, dating from 1986, is matched with a unison setting by David Ashley White in this new publication. White uses the opening of Daw’s text as a refrain, indicating that all singers perform the refrain each time. He then sets the remainder of the text as verses. Stanzas one and three use a melody scored for soprano and alto, and stanza two and four feature a different melody for tenors and basses. This treble/bass division is the only call for two parts, as there is no harmony in the vocal writing. The verses are unaccompanied, lending a folk-like feel to the canticle. Strong chords in the organ part announce the refrain each time, rooting the lilting 6/8 melody in a strong rhythmic pulse. The tunes, in White’s familiar, breezy style, require no teaching because the music is so intuitive. The setting would work extremely well in situations that call for a congregational performance of the Magnificat, although the score seems to be laid out for choral forces. Congregations could be invited to sing the refrain only, or have the full assembly sing throughout, with verses divided between upper and lower voices. A crowning organ coda caps the canticle with an emphatic musical exclamation point.” –AAM Journal, September 2019


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