Movement 1 'A wasteland: the ruins of a sacred building': Lord, have mercy
Movement 2 'The rebuilding begins': Gloria Glory to God in the highest
Movement 3 'The consecration of the house': Sanctus Holy, holy, holy Lord
Movement 4 'as we forgive them': Lamb of God
Austere modal harmony and a fear-filled tritone conjure up images of a wasteland in the Kyrie, brief in duration but fathomless in its survey of life undermined by death. The Gloria retrieves material from a hazy world of medieval number symbolism to confront earthly imperfection in the form of a brassy march with the perfection of the Holy Trinity, the latter articulated by the organ’s long chains of triplet quavers and commingled in the rhythmic shifts and syncopations of the choral writing. Repetition is key to the affect established and maintained throughout the Sanctus. Bingham’s conception is tuned to the infinite grace implied by the word ‘Holy’, rather than to the projection of shining visions of the ‘God of power and might’ or of ecstatic ‘Hosannas’. The organ falls silent in ‘Lamb of God’: forgiveness is work for women and men, not machines.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2013