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Dum transisset sabbatum was commissioned for the 1995 City of London Festival Service and first performed by the choir at St Paul’s Cathedral conducted by John Scott on 2 July 1995. The composer has kindly provided the following note for this recording:
The motet takes a seemingly simple moment from the Gospel, significant because it is a very feminine moment in a masculine doctrine and a moment of great mystical power, on the verge of Christianity as a supernatural force. The ‘virtuosic vocality’ is a celebration of the florid, ecstatic atmosphere of Easter morning. The exuberant lines—usually one fast, one medium speed and one slow—are woven through eight modes which recur in order with ever shorter time-spans until they are crunched into chords at the end.
from notes by William McVicker © 1996