Of the broad straightforward choral style of O clap your hands
(1920) Michael Kennedy remarks how apt it is to its purpose of ‘filling a great cathedral with joyous sounds’. It is however not quite as straightforward as all that in every respect: there are moments when choir and orchestra seem to be in untypical harmonic conflict (eg ‘Sing praises unto our King’). Mistake? No, VW evidently meant these clashes; and once we accept that they are meant, we can relish them the more keenly for their unexpectedness.
from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1993