programme notes E – K

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Serenade for strings

Although Elgar was 35 when he wrote the Serenade, it is a comparatively early work; his reputation as a composer in his local Worcestershire had already been established, but the years of national and international fame arising from Dream of Gerontius and the Cello Concerto were yet to come. The piece was written for his wife, Alice, and presented to her on the occasion of their third wedding anniversary.

Elgar’s own note on the Serenade says ‘(Alice) helped me a great deal to make these little tunes’. It is possible that the Serenade was a re-drafting of some earlier (now lost) Sketches – Spring Song, Elegy and Finale – written for the Worcestershire Musical Union in May 1888. The piece is in three movements: the Allegro piacevole, which consists of a series of lilting tunes underpinned by a restless viola rhythm; the longer, elegiac Larghetto is followed by the gentle Allegretto, which, after introducing new melodic material, returns to a re-statement of the tune of the first movement.

Fayrfax Manuscript (c. 1500)

Various songs & carols

Between the proto-Renaissance works of John Dunstable, who died in 1453, and the full flowering of Tudor music (beginning with the works of John Taverner from around 1520, and culminating in the compositions of Tallis and Byrd, to whom Elizabeth I granted an exclusive licence for music-printing in 1575) only a small number of manuscript sources survive as a record of English musical activity. This situation can be attributed both to acts of destruction (such as the burning of choirbooks) and to an attitude of cultural neglect provoked by the religious conflicts of the Reformation.

The principal surviving testimony to the summit of English church music during the reign of Henry VII is the Eton Choirbook, containing pieces by, among others, John Browne, Richard Davy, Walter Lambe, William Cornysh, and Robert Fayrfax. Of secular repertoire there remain three important collections: the Ritson Manuscript (compiled by various scribes between 1460 and 1510), Henry VIII’s Book (c.1510-1520, including music attributed to the king himself) and the Fayrfax Manuscript (c.1500-1505). This latter, according to John Stevens who transcribed it for publication in the Musica Britannica series, ‘contains, beyond question, the finest music written to vernacular words which survives from pre-Reformation England’ and is the source of all of the choral pieces in our concert. The manuscript takes its name from ownership by the Fairfax family during the 18th century and from its association with the composer Robert Fayrfax, whose arms appear on the title-page. It is thought to be closely linked with the court of Henry VII, perhaps being used by Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal for performances on formal and private occasions outside of the chapel, and for ‘recreations suitable to the clerical state’ (as termed in contemporary statutes from Winchester College). Its music is of three distinct genres: (1) courtly love-songs, on the whole, rather conventional of their kind, reminiscent of the earlier French style exemplified by Dufay (c.1398-1474); (2) ‘popular’ songs in a lighter, superficial vein (such as Cornysh’s bawdy ‘Hoyda, hoyda, jolly rutterkin’), whose rhythmic subtleties nevertheless mark them as the work of professional composers intended for professional performance; and (3) devotional pieces, concerned with the veneration of Christ and his Mother, in which sacred and secular distinctions can become blurred (the ‘lily-white rose’, for example, in ‘This day day dawes’ is both symbolic of the Virgin, and the emblem of Elizabeth of York, Henry VII’s queen).

The eight pieces sung today are repressentative of this third group. Some historical significance to these religious compositions derives from their independence of continental developments. During the Wars of the Roses (from 1455 until Henry VII’s accession to the throne in 1485) cultural exchange and travel abroad became inhibited, and while the newer imitative style flourished elsewhere (e.g., in the music of Josquin des Prés) English composers drew, for these pieces, on their only known tradition of vernacular religious song, that of the medieval carol, with its characteristic structure of verse and refrain. As Stevens remarks, texts in the Fayrfax Manuscript represent ‘an impressive monument to the strength and persistence of late medieval piety, devotions of the Passion in particular ? characterized by a quasi-dramatic pleading style (Christ himself is often the speaker) and by an intense if mannered concentration on the physical sufferings of the Crucified’. To that extent, they stand apart from earlier carols, none of which is known to use a Passion text; developments in their musical setting, however, are yet more striking.

The pieces are proportioned on a much larger scale, and with an increased metrical freedom and number of voices they achieve greater variety of texture, and of melodic and harmonic invention. Most importantly, a new respect for the words is apparent; not only do they define the music’s overall emotional tone, but there are examples of word painting and direct expression (for which ‘Ah gentle Jesu’ is especially notable) that prefigure stylistic trends in works of the Elizabethan madrigal composers. For a greater sense of authentic colour, our performances takes account of what is known about the pronunciation of English towards the end of the 15th century. The recorder pieces played between each of the choral items have been chosen for their broad contemporaneity and contrast – whether stylistic or in terms of geographical origin – with pieces from the Fayrfax Manuscript.

Peter Owens

George F Handel (1685-1759)

Chandos Anthem No. 9: ‘O Praise the Lord with one Consent’

1717 had not been a good year for Handel. The opera company that had employed him seven years earlier, on his arrival in England, was beginning to disintegrate under a series of financial wrangles, and it looked as though the 1717 season would be his last season of assured income. To cap it all, two of Handel’s royal patrons – the king (George I) and the Prince of Wales (later George II) had once again become estranged as a result of a political argument, resulting in the Prince of Wales’ arrest. Handel flirted briefly with a visit abroad, and with a commission from Lord Burlington, but, in August 1717, he opted to take the politically neutral route of becoming composer-in-residence to James Brydges, Earl of Carnarvon (later, in 1719, Duke of Chandos).

Brydges had made a fortune as Paymaster to the Forces during the foreign wars, and, in 1715, he had begun a building programme to create his own gilded retreat at Cannons in Edgware. John Mainwaring, in the first published biography of Handel, wrote in 1760: ‘Two years he spent at CANNONS, a place which was then in all its glory…”. Although it is not known whether Handel actually lived at Cannons, he must have spent much of his time there, as his musical output during the period 1717–1718 was phenomenal. Brydges maintained an ensemble of at least eleven permanent musicians at Cannons, under Dr J C Pepusch, and it is, for these forces (plus occasional extras) that Handel composed the masque Acis and Galatea, the oratorio Esther, a Te Deum and eleven anthems for performance in services at the ducal chapel, the richly re-designed St Lawrence Whitchurch. These anthems, in honour of Brydges’ later-bestowed title, are named The Chandos Anthems.

They are all settings of psalms – either from the 1662 prayer-book or, as is the case with this, the ninth anthem, from the metrical New Version of the Psalms prepared by Tate and Brady in 1696. The work sets the metrical versions of verses from psalms 135, 117 and 148 in an eight-movement ‘cantata’, containing four choral movements and a solo movement for each of the four voices. Alas, however, Brydges’ ‘Camelot’ lived only as long as he did. On his death in 1744 (by which time Handel was the wealthy court composer to George II) the estate was dismantled and sold; all that remains today is the delightfully-endowed church of St Lawrence where the Chandos anthems were originally performed.

Dixit Dominus

In 1707, at the age of 22, Handel began his first three-year vist to Rome, and, in spite of his Protestant background, was soon taken up by the cream of Catholic, Italian society. Dixit Dominus, a setting of Psalm 110, was completed in April 1707. The piece, resplendent with bright color, vocal virtuosity, expansive structure, and driving energy, was clearly designed by Handel to demonstrate his ability to write in the Italian style, and has marked resonances with the choral works of Vivaldi.

John Eliot Gardiner has suggested that it was ‘almost as though this young composer, newly arrived in the land of virtuoso singers and players, was daring his hosts to greater and greater feats of virtuosity.’ The vivid images of the psalm text are set for five-part chorus, soloists, strings and continuo and take the form of a sacred cantata set in eight movements. Like Durante, Handel unifies the composition with a cantus firmus, a fragment of Gregorian chant, that appears in majestic, sustained notes in the opening movement and returns in the same way in the closing movement, appropriately on the words ‘as it was in the beginning.’ Throughout the rest of the piece, Händel uses the chorus and soloists alternately and together to illustrate the emotive passages of the psalm.


“I shall show you a collection I gave Handel, call’d Messiah … & he has made a fine Entertainment of it”. So wrote Messiah’s librettist Charles Jennens. While we may find it somewhat puzzling to see Messiah described as ‘a fine Entertainment’, it must be remembered that Messiah and indeed all theatre-oratorio in England in the 18th century was overwhelmingly a commercial, musical event. English theatre-oratorio, which originated with Handel, results from two major musical influences on him; German Lutheran church cantatas and Passion settings, and Italian oratorio. The German Lutheran tradition is firmly rooted in its calendar, using scriptural text and fulfilling a liturgical function. Its musical foundation is the chorus. The Italian oratorio tradition is firmly rooted in opera – staged but not acted; using non-scriptural, albeit sacred, text and fulfilling no liturgical function.

Its musical foundation is the soloist. Neither form relies on spoken text. At times when opera in Rome was placed under a Papal ban – during Lent (the 40 days before Easter) for example, otherwise unemployed musicians could obediently indulge the nobility’s love of opera by presenting oratorio. For Handel the first of these influences comes from the fact that he was raised as a German Lutheran while the second was gained first-hand between 1706 and 1710 while working in Italy as a composer.

It was in Italy that he wrote his first two oratorios, for Roman patrons, under the circumstances already described. Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno was written for Cardinal Pamphili and La Resurezionne for the Marquis Ruspoli and performed at Ruspoli’s palace with scenery and costume, but no acting. In 1710 Handel left Italy for London, which was already the greatest, most cosmopolitan, commercial centre in the world, where fresh from Rome, he arrived to seek his fortune as a composer of Italian opera. All went well until 1717 when, for two seasons, Italian opera in London came to a halt; the Haymarket opera company folded and Italian opera was not revived until 1719 with the establishment of a new opera company called The Royal Academy of Music. During this period Handel was employed by the Duke of Chandos, to whom he presented his first oratorio in English, Esther; a private aristocratic performance of oratorio, such as Handel had organised in Italy. During the 1731-1732 season a ‘pirate’ performance of the oratorio Esther took place at a meeting of The Academy of Ancient Music at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, on the Strand. Encouraged by reports of its success there, Handel decided to re-write Esther for presentation at the opera, and thus created English theatre-oratorio as we know it today. This new form was well received and sustained six profitable performances; a pleasant and unexpected bonus to end the season. In the years following, until 1741, Handel regularly inserted his new form of oratorio into his Italian opera seasons in London – Esther, Saul, Israel in Egypt, Alexander’s Feast, and a revival of his earliest known oratorio, translated into English as ‘The Triumph of Time’. The 1740-1741 season was the last at which Handel made his living by composing Italian opera. He had probably become uncertain about Italian opera’s future in the face of increasingly factious audiences, and rival entrepreneurs. At the end of that season he began to work on preparing music for the following year, which would be spent in Dublin. Part of his preparation was the composition of an oratorio called Messiah, the only new work he took with him.

While it is unclear why Handel should decide to leave London to present a season of his music in Dublin, it is clear that the composition of Messiah occurred at a pivotal time in Handel’s career.Messiah is in the usual three-act form of English theatre-oratorio established by Handel, but unusually it contains neither any strong narrative nor any characterisation, such as is found in Handel’s oratorios based on Old Testament themes. Messiah was originally scored for modest forces of trumpets, drums, strings, keyboard continuo, chorus and four solo performers; less than Handel’s usual choice, as contemporary evidence shows. For the subsequent London performances Handel added oboes, bassoons and horns to the orchestra, and sometimes shared out the solos amongst more than four solo singers, re-writing material to match his forces’ talents. On arrival in Dublin Handel set up two subscription series for the season between November 1741 and April 1742, at ‘Mr Neal’s Great Room’, a newly built venue in Fishamble Street. The programme of music brought from London included Esther, Acis and Galatea, L’Allegro, the opera Imeneo, performed qua oratorio, and Messiah.

Only two London musicians took part; the soprano, Signora Avolio, and the celebrated actress-singer, Mrs Cibber, a contralto. The aria ‘He was despised’ was ever after synonymous with Mrs Cibber. According to Sheridan “It was not for any extraordinary power of voice, (whereof she had but a moderate share) nor to a greater degree of skill in musick (wherein many of the Italians … exceed her) that she owed her excellence, but in expression alone”. The other soloists and choral singers were drawn from Dublin church choirs; the orchestra too was local. That this season was well received is clear from a letter by Handel to Jennens dated December 29, 1741 “I cannot sufficiently express the kind treatment I receive here, but the politeness of this generous Nation cannot be unknown to You, so I let you judge the Satisfaction I enjoy, passing my time with honour, profit, and pleasure … I shall be obliged to make my stay here longer than I thought”. Even so, Messiah was not presented until April 12th, 1742, near the end of Handel’s stay, with the intention of raising money for charities supporting hospitals and prisons in Dublin. Rehearsal, as was common in the 18th century, was as eagerly reported as the performance. “Yesterday Morning … there was a public Rehearsal of the Messiah, Mr Handel’s new sacred Oratorio, which … far surpasses anything of that Name, which has been performed in this or any other Kingdom. The elegant Entertainment was conducted … to the entire satisfaction of the most crowded and polite Assembly”. (The Dublin Newsletter, 10 April 1742), and as to the performance, the Dublin Journal (13-17 April 1742) reported “On Tuesday … Mr Handel’s Sacred Grand Oratorio The Messiah was performed … the best Judges allowed it to be the most finished piece of Musick. Words are wanting to express the exquisite Delight it afforded to the admiring crouded Audience. The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender, adapted to the most elevated. majestick and moving Words, conspired to transport and charm the ravish’d Heart and Ear”. A fine entertainment indeed.

Primary source: Donald Burrows (1991) Messiah, Cambridge University Press

©Andrew Pink. November 2001.

Zadok the Priest

In 1706 the young George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) travelled to Rome, and spent the next four years visiting the Italian city states, studying the Italian opera and oratorio forms, and meeting movers and shakers in Italian musical style such as Vivaldi and Corelli. In 1710, ‘Giorgio Federico Hendel’ (as he styled himself) left Rome to make his fortune writing the fashionable new Italian opera. In London, the Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket had been offering opera – sung, at least partly, in Italian – to its patrons for five years. In 1710 the theatre, now making money out of this art-form popular with the gentry, was looking for its own composer, and found one in the person of Handel, the bright, young, Italian-trained Saxon with important court connections abroad (Handel’s former patron, the Elector of Hanover, was shortly to be invited to England to become George I).

A series of Italian operas, beginning with Rinaldo, began to pour from Handel’s pen and delight London’s fashionable set. The mid-1720s saw Handel musical director of The Royal Academy of Music – set up by Royal Charter perform operas, and based at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket. At this time, Handel the opera composer was also employed by George I’s Chapel Royal to write church music – much of it in Latin. In 1727 Handel finally received his British citizenship; this was to serve him in good stead, as it made him eligible to compose the music for the coronation of George II following the death of George I (also in 1727).

Handel wrote four anthems for the coronation; Zadok the Priest was written for the point during the service at which the new king is anointed with holy oil. The theatricality of the writing is undoubted – and owes much to Handel’s experience as a composer of opera; as Donald Burrows states in his book on the composer, the opening “…long orchestral interlude [is] like a slow parting of theatrical curtains”. Handel must also have been delighted at being given free reign to compose for a larger orchestra than he was used to in the theatre – the scoring for Zadok is lavish by the standards of the period.

Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)

Salve Regina in G minor

After visiting the palace of Versailles in 1764, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, a wealthy Hungarian magnate, decided to build his own opulent residence in a similar style near Eisenstadt – on the border of modern-day Austria and Hungary. The acquisitive Nikolaus had, in 1761, already snapped up the brilliant twenty-nine-year-old Haydn and appointed him vice Kapellmeister to the Esterházy ménage.

By the time the family moved to the newly-constructed Esterháza palace in 1766, Haydn had already become Kapellmeister, his appointment to the post marking the beginning of a twenty-four year sinecure, during which time he produced a vast oeuvre of operas, symphonies, chamber music and sacred music for the Esterházy family to enjoy in its gilded retreat from Austro-Hungarian politics. Aside from a number of masses written for the family chapel, Haydn also composed music for other aspects of the liturgy – notably settings of hymns and antiphons to the Virgin Mary.

The Salve Regina in G minor, written in 1771, is one of three from the period. The stimulus for its composition was almost certainly an illness or long-term fever that Haydn suffered in 1770; and he wrote the Salve Regina as a thanksgiving for his recovery – an example followed by his pupil Beethoven in the latter’s Heiliger Dankgesang movement of the opus 132 string quartet. G minor was an unusual key for Haydn – he wrote only four other pieces in this key – and the mournful chromaticism of the piece adds a unique poignancy to this early work, associated more with the works of the composer’s later period. The four-movement work was originally written for solo voices, strings and organ; the organ part, which alternates between providing a continuo accompaniment and breaking out into solo obbligato passages, was probably originally played by Haydn himself.

Paul Hindemith (1895–1963)

Harp sonata

Hindemith was born near Frankfurt and began composing at an early age. He started his formal study in 1912 under Adolf Rebner, who persuaded the Conservatoire at Frankfurt to offer him a place. As well as being a composer, Hindemith was also an accomplished performer – chiefly on the violin and viola, but also on the piano and clarinet. Hindemith continued to compose and perform throughout the twenties and thirties, achieving fame not only in Frankfurt but throughout the rest of Germany. During the mid-thirties, Hindemith found himself increasingly at odds with the Nazi establishment; he had rarely made a secret of his dislike of the movement, and the party had indicated that, by his compositional style, he was ‘betraying his mission as a German composer’.

Following the announcement by Goebbels of a boycott of his music in 1937, Hindemith moved to Switzerland and, three years later, to New York. During his stay in Switzerland he toured extensively in America, and, on his return in 1939, settled to a year of composing. His output during the year consisted mostly of sonatas for solo, and, in some cases, unusual instruments (including bassoon, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba, double bass). This prompted his lifelong friend and correspondent Willy Strecker to write: ‘I am willing to send you a list of instruments which have perhaps escaped your eagle eye’. Hindemith, however, saw his project as two-fold; firstly to fill what he saw as a gap in repertoire for some of these instruments, but secondly, he was using the discipline to prepare for another opera (his earlier opera Mathis der Maler had been a great success). As he wrote back to Strecker: ‘… they also serve as a technical exercise for the great coup I hope to bring off next spring: Die Harmonie der Welt’. In fact, the opera was not to be completed for a further 18 years. It is from this prolific period in 1939 that the Harp Sonata comes. The piece is scored in three movements: Mäßig schnell (not too fast); Lebhaft (lively) and, unusually for a last movement, Sehr langsam (very slow). It is for this lyric final movement that the sonata has achieved its fame; the movement is marked ‘Lied’ (song), and carries as a superscription a poem by Hölty, Ihr Freunden hänget wann ich gestorben bin.

Gustav Holst (1874-1934)

Choral Songs from the Rig Veda

Holst’s fascination with the great Indian religious sagas such as the Baghvad Gita and the Vedas began as early as 1899 and, indeed, he tried to learn to read and write Sanskrit (although he was, by all accounts, only a modest scholar). His first use of this material was in a symphonic poem, Indra, written in 1903, but subsequently he used translations from Sanskrit for other pieces, including two of his operas. In 1907/08 he conceived the idea of setting some of his own translations from the Vedas to music, and produced a song cycle for voice and piano. Between 1908and 1912, the same period as his cantata, The Cloud Messenger and his second Indian opera, Savitri, he re-worked the song cycle material into four sets of choral songs from the Rig Veda.

The first set was for full chorus and orchestra, the second for women’s voices and orchestra, the third for women’s voices and harp, and the fourth for men’s voices, strings and brass; it is the third set that we present tonight. This set is dedicated to Frank Duckworth and his Blackburn Ladies’ Choir (who had remained loyal to the performance of Holst’s works when few other groups were interested). The superscription over the last song in the set reads: ‘The God invoked in this hymn is the Guide of travellers along the roads of this world and along that leading to the next’.

Two psalm settings (Ps. 86 & Ps. 148)

In early 1912, Holst became considerably depressed, as the first performance of his piece The Cloud Messenger had been badly received: ‘The Cloud did not go well, and the whole thing has been a blow to me. I’m fed up with music, especially my own’ he wrote to a friend. In fact, two years later, at the outbreak of war, Holst was to begin work on his most famous and popular piece The Planets.

To attempt to lift his spirits following the ill-fated performance of The Cloud Messenger, its conductor, Balfour Gardiner, persuaded Holst to take a holiday with him in Majorca, and the two were joined by Clifford and Arnold Bax; they spent the whole holiday discussing orchestration, using their own pieces to illustrate bad practice. Holst enjoyed the whole experience, and was delighted with the climate, the scenery and the food in Majorca, and, on his return, began composing and arranging once again, and the settings of Psalm 86 and Psalm 148 were two of the results. Holst used existing well-known tunes (one from the 1543 Genevan Psalter and another from the 1623 Geistliche Kirchengesänge) and re-worked them for strings, chorus and soloist, using metrical versions of the texts written by Joseph Bryan in 1620. Both settings speak a language of Christian piety and penitence.

As always with Holst, directness and economy of expression are married to an unconventional approach which takes in plainsong, orchestral interludes, close harmony, ecstatic interjections and strident reharmonisations of the melodies.

Herbert Howells (1892–1983)

Mass in the Dorian Mode

When Pius X issued Moto Propriu in 1903 he instituted a change in the use of music in the Roman Catholic liturgy. The document exhorted churches to use simpler, less decorative forms of music for common worship, that the people could understand and be part of. The main response was for composers of church music to return to the forms of an earlier era: plainsong (as used extensively by Duruflé in the Requiem) and, in the case of Herbert Howells, polyphony – the musical language of the Renaissance, as produced in England by Tallis, Byrd, Taverner and others (co-incidentally, the content of Collegium Musicum’s last concert).

Howells was a young student at the Royal College of music in 1912, studying composition under Sir Charles Stanford. He was asked by Stanford to assist Dr Richard Terry (the then organist of Westminster Cathedral) in his project to re-introduce the works of the English 16th century masters to the diet of music in the cathedral. Howells’ response to the stimulus of this music was instantaneous. Over the next five or six years, Howells produced nine works for use in the Catholic liturgy at Westminster, all dedicated to Terry; the first and most significant of these was the Mass in the Dorian Mode.

The piece is written in a modal-polyphonic style, imitative of 16th century writing and is ideally proportioned for use in the Catholic liturgy. Its musical language is simple, direct and superbly crafted. The vocal lines are finely turned and the overall sound is translucent. Those who know Howells for his lush music in the Vaughan Williams style will discover this work to be very different, and may find themselves agreeing with Howells when he said in old age: ‘…all through my life I’ve had this strange feeling that I belonged somehow to the Tudor period’.


When Howells began his Requiem in 1932 it was originally intended for King’s College Cambridge (although there is no record of it ever having been sent there). It was a work in the same tradition as his earlier Mass in the Dorian Mode – arising from his experiences of Tudor polyphony whilst studying with R R Terry at Westminster Cathedral, and out of a desire to provide direct, unaccompanied settings of text for liturgical use. Its musical style is developed also from techniques learnt with Charles Wood and from earlier examples of the genre such as Walford Davies’ Requiem. The piece does not entirely take the traditional liturgical text for a Latin Requiem, but, in the same manner of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem uses devotional psalms and scriptural passages. In a foretaste of tragedy, Howells noted that his son, Michael, (then aged six) had made his mark on the score (he added a note); three years later, Michael died of meningitis, an event that was to influence Howells for the rest of his life. Howells’ great musical outpouring of grief for his lost son, Hymnus Paradisi, which was first performed only in 1950 at Vaughan Williams’ urging, is based on material taken from the Requiem. The Requiem itself was not published until 1980.

Leos Janácek (1854-1928)


The religious music of the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia and, before that, Bohemia) has always been unique, sandwiched as the country is between Catholic southern Germany and the Orthodox countries of the East.

The Hapsburg dominance of the country in the 18th century combined with 19th-century nationalism to produce an anti-German and anti-Catholic feeling; in short, 19th-century Czech culture was based on a kind of modern reformation myth. The best-known Czech composer is Antonín Dvorák, whose output of religious music was prodigious. His disciple and countryman, Leos Janácek is more famous for his operas and orchestral works, although he wrote two religious pieces of note: the barbarically stirring Glagolitic Mass and the more sensitive setting of the Lord’s Prayer, Otcenás, written in 1906.

The work is in six short but contrasting movements and is scored for organ, harp, chorus and tenor solo. In three of the movements, the cantabile solo voice alternates with chorus against a background of continuous harmonic modulation; in the three other movements (‘Our Father’, ‘give us this day our daily bread’ and ‘lead us not into temptation’), the whole choir presents the dominant messages; in the second, seemingly demanding not the consecrated bread of the altar, but the daily bread of true humanity.