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Tabakova’s anthem Praise, scored for eight-part choir and organ, was the winner of the 2002 Barclays Private Banking Composition Prize and received its premiere in St Paul’s Cathedral at the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir School Foundation Concert, which was part of HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The composer says of her work: ‘The idea of writing a church anthem has fascinated me for quite a long time – I have always felt that choral music is one of the purest forms of musical expression. The fact that the anthem would have its first performance in St Paul’s Cathedral added to my enthusiasm. The piece aims to intrigue the ear by concealing the organ with muted choral clusters at the outset, giving ambiguity as to the sound source. Mostly, though, I found inspiration in the set text and the story that underlies it – that of a man who has overcome adversity and has become aware of the glory of our Lord and is full of praise for Him.’
from notes by William McVicker © 2005