Sir Arthur Bliss succeeded Sir Arnold Bax as Master of the Queen’s Music in 1953 and relished the opportunities for the composition of ceremonial and occasional music. Despite claiming in his autobiography of 1966 that he found ‘my joy in writing music on the wane’ the last few years of his life saw a flurry of compositional activity. Sing, mortals!
, a ‘Sonnet for the Festival of St Cecilia’, was commissioned for the St Cecilia service in 1974 and is catalogued as his last choral composition. Bliss sets a text by Canon Richard Tydeman, Rector at the time of the Church of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London. Known as the National Musicians’ Church, this was the home for many years of the annual St Cecilia service.
from notes by Rupert Gough © 2014