O what their joy and their glory must be effectively takes the form of a chorale prelude. The choir's opening theme is taken from the French melody 'O Quanta Qualia' around which the organ weaves its own melodies derived from fragments of the main theme. Harris's anthems tend to owe something in their style to the work of Charles Wood: the gradual increase in movement in the choral parts, for example, is reminiscent of Wood's anthem God omnipotent reigneth. Harris introduces a central slower section in G minor which gradually moves back (through the quasi-mystical setting of the words 'There dawns no Sabbath') into an elaborate restatement of the opening material culminating in the series of splendid 'Amens'.
from notes by William McVicker © 1995