One of the highlights of each year's Holiday Songbook on Classical 91.5 is John Rutter's setting of the Magnificat. It is a joyous outpouring, filled with rhythm and light. Inspired by Hispanic Christmas celebrations, Rutter conceived of the piece as a "bright Latin-flavoured Fiesta."
Says Rutter: "I had long wished to write an extended Magnificat, but was not sure how to approach it until I found my starting point in the association of the text with the Virgin Mary. In countries such as Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, feast days of the Virgin are joyous opportunites for people to take to the streets and celebrate with singing, dancing, and processions. These images of outdoor celebration were, I think, somewhere in my mind as I wrote, though I was not fully conscious of the fact 'til afterwards."