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I chose four biblical texts which express different aspects of this vision—(1) an introductory description of the imagined city in the words and Gregorian melody of a medieval hymn familiar in the English version beginning ‘Blessed city, heavenly Salem’; (2) Isaiah’s prophetic vision of the coming of Messiah, followed by a lively section which might be a dance of the daughters of Jerusalem; (3) a lament for the desolation of Sion, using a transmuted fragment of both text and melody line from William Byrd’s anthem Bow thine ear, O Lord; and (4), a beatific vision of the holy city as seen by St John in the Book of Revelation.
from notes by John Rutter © 2016