‘I’d always wanted to set the text’, recalls Bingham, who interprets the carol as a late fifteenth-century lament for the heavy loss of life unleashed by the Wars of the Roses. ‘A knight, always bleeding, lies in a chapel, a young woman weeping at his side. The chapel is decked out in funereal colours and at the side of the knight are written the words Corpus Christi [the body of Christ], as if the crucifixion is being played out over and over again. The music is a series of canons which overlap—and the atmosphere of the music is like a sunny and fresh English landscape that gradually clouds over. More than anything I wanted to create an intensely atmospheric sound.’ Wisps of Bingham’s dark ‘clouds’ emerge early in the piece, suggested by the sighing melody of ‘the falcon’ and the soprano part’s slow descending setting of ‘Lulley, lulla’.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2013