The outer contemplative sections of O sacrum convivium
are built on small harmonic and melodic fragments and yet a continuous stream of sound is propelled forward over cluster chords and syncopated rhythms. The second half of the text is treated more freely in the middle section, with ‘mens impletur gratia’ set to a quasi-plainsong melody carried upwards through the voice parts. The final section shows considerable skill in the balancing of choral parts as the accompaniment, beginning in the upper voices, subtly descends through the choral range until reaching its conclusion in the luxuriant key of D flat major.
from notes by Rupert Gough © 2010