Thomas Ebdon (1738–1811) was a British composer and
organist born in Durham. He was a chorister at Durham
Cathedral and became the organist there at the age of
35 (1763) after some wrangling between the Chapter and
Dean. He died in office. He is most famous for the
evening part of his Service in C, and his setting of
the Preces and Responses.
Ebdon was for many years a freemason at the Granby
lodge in Durham, as well as being a senior member of
the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham, established in
1788. A march by Ebdon, for wind and brass (published
by Dale of London in 1792), was composed for the
installation in 1788 of William Lambton (1764–97) as
the first Provincial Grand Master of Durham.
Originating from the Latin word for "magnify" (although
originating in the Greek New Testament), the Magnificat
is the name given to the words of Mary in Luke's
Gospel, beginning "My soul doth magnify the Lord and my
spirit rejoices in God my Savior." According to the
gospel, Mary, while pregnant with Jesus, visited her
cousin Elisabeth, who was at the time pregnant with
John the Baptist. In response to Elisabeth's salutation
Ave Maria, she spoke the words of the Magnificat.
The Magnificat is the canticle appointed to be sung at
Vespers in the Roman Rite; it is the first canticle
used at Evening Prayer (called "Evensong" when sung) in
Anglican tradition, the second canticle being the Nunc
dimittis. The latter canticle is appointed as the
proper canticle of Compline in the Roman rite.
Composers writing for the Anglican tradition typically
treated the Magnficat and Nunc dimittis as a related
pair; those writing for use in the Roman Rite typically
treated the two independently.
This Magnificat in C Major is based on a manuscript
service book (Wimborne Minster chained library, Shelf
number "O16", "Wimborne Minster No. 10".), two Alto
part books ("P23" and "P26") and two Tenor part books
("P27" and "P28"). All sources undated.
Although this work was composed for Chorus (SATB) I
created this arrangement for Woodwind Quartet (Flute,
Oboe, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon).