Adam’s fall and the corruption of paradise are central concerns of The First World
, a diptych for unaccompanied choir infused with bold chromatic harmonies and delicate alterations of timbre and texture. Harmonic uncertainty prevails throughout As the angels stood
. Anna and Clare Needham’s aphoristic verse, written during their childhood, is delineated by a call-and-response structure in which divided choral voices represent the company of angels and a tenor soloist projects the serpentine villain’s beckoning call.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2006