Rosa mystica

In 2015, Jay Buckle and the Purbeck Arts Choir commissioned David to write a ten-minute work for a programme of festive music in the approach to Christmas.

Rosa mystica is a sacred devotional cantata combining various texts in which a rose or flower is used as an analogy for the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the Rosa Mystica tradition itself, and Mary as the stem of the rose from which, arising out of the root of Jesse, grew Jesus.

In three movements, it is variously scored for Soprano solo, unison children’s voices (or women’s semichorus), mixed chorus (without divisi) and instrumentalists.

The instrumental scoring is flexible. The work can be accompanied by piano alone, or by by piano and string quartet, or with the addition of more strings and four solo instruments to this basic scoring – oboe (or flute), cor anglais (or clarinet), bassoon (or solo cello) and trumpet.

The work was first performed with its full instrumental scoring, by the Purbeck Arts Choir on 5 December 2015, in St Mary’s Church, Swanage, Dorset. A live recording of the first performance can be heard in the video below.

The effect of the smaller scoring of piano and string quartet can be heard in this Sibelius software rendering of the work. In this version the work will be performed on 25 November 2017 by The Broadstone Choir in Broadstone Methodist Church, Poole, Dorset.


Rosa mystica - cover


The vocal score is now available from Chromata Music in A4 format, printed on 135gsm coated paper.

Those who wish to perform the work also have the options of purchasing a licensed download from which they can make their own copies, or hiring copies from the publisher.

Purchase price:   1-4 copies: £2.50 each  /  5-15 copies: £2.25 each  /  16-30 copies: £2.13 each  /  31-50 copies: £2.00 each  /  51+ copies: £1.88 each

Download licence:   Up to 30 copies: £56  /  Up to 60 copies: £98  /  Up to 90 copies: £127   /    For larger numbers, please enquire.

Hire price:  50p per copy for a four month period


A full score and set of instrumental parts can be produced at modest cost to order, depending on the instruments to be used. Please specify your requirements below for a quote.

The composer is also willing to consider producing a bespoke version with different instrumentation, for an additional fee.

For all orders and enquiries, please use the contact form below.