O vos omnes
was first performed on 13 April 1922 during Holy Week. This setting of words from the Office of Tenebrae for Maundy Thursday is in some ways a precursor of the Mass. It delves into a past world of supple lines reminiscent of Gregorian chant and modal harmonies, yet the scoring and harmonic control are entirely modern. The verses (from the book of Lamentations) are scored for divided upper voices with a solo alto declaiming parts of the text. The final obligatory statement ‘Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum’ receives added weight and darkness with the addition of the otherwise silent tenors and basses, working first antiphonally with the upper voices and then conjoining for the final bars.
from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2005