Re: Mary of Nazareth, Dec. 2021, p. 10.
Drieidger-Hesslein accurately points out that the Magnificat has been set to music by various composers over the years. This includes medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and modern composers. Among the latter are such figures as Arvo Part (Estonian), Krzysztof Penderecki (Polish), Michael Tippett (British), Alan Hovahness (American) and Robert Caamano (Argentinian).
Part of the impetus for this is the fact that the Magnifcat, as a sung canticle, is part of the Liturgy of Evening Prayer/Vespers (LBW p. 147, EvLW p. 314). It is to their credit that serious composers musically interpret the entire canticle for us, and avoid cherry-picking just the verses that support a narrow social agenda.
A valuable aid to musical interpretation of the canticle is the book The Magnificat: Musicians as Biblical Interpreters by Union Theological Seminary professor Samuel Terrien (N. Y., Paulist Press, 1995).—Don Neville, Waterloo, ON