Advent Calendar Day 20: Magnificat (Telemann / Ensemble Planeta)

I seem to come back to this one every year, but there’s something compelling about the combination of the Book of Hours illustrations and the almost ethereal sound of the Ensemble Planeta’s voices.  And I do love the way they sing all the accompaniment bits in bell-like voices.

The Magnificat is Mary’s song from the Gospel of Luke when she is told by the angel Gabriel that she will conceive and give birth to the Son of God.  The full lyrics and translation can be found here, but the Magnificat takes its name from the first line ‘Magnificat anima mea Dominum’ (My soul shall magnify the Lord).

I honestly do not know *what* lyrics the Ensemble Planeta are singing here.  I can tell you that they are riffing on Telemann’s German Magnificat (which you can here some of here), but they definitely are not singing in German, and the few words I can pick out sound more like Italian than anything else.  They definitely are not singing the Latin words.  It’s a mystery.  But it’s also very beautiful, so I can live with it quite happily.

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