Rumours were rife in the mid-1780s that Samuel had become a Roman Catholic. Later in his life Samuel denied this, but attracted to it he most certainly was. He set much latin to music in the years following the 1780s, although it has been suggested that this was more out of love of the liturgy and the music than of Catholicism. His latin music is some of his best, and he continued to write for the Catholic liturgy for over forty years.
In exitu Israel is written in eight parts, and scored for double choir. Many criticisms have been levelled at the work form the point of view of the anthem’s musical form, although the musical content is quite thrilling. One writer has commented that the discords with which the work ends would have made poor Attwood shudder!
from notes by William McVicker © 1992