Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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I was instantly drawn to Kathleen Raine’s The World when looking for a text for this reflection. Its themes perfectly corresponded with my idea of Byrd’s Sanctus being an expansive, continually evolving work. It is a fascinating poem, manipulating only six ideas but creating an effortless circle of themes, interweaving and inextricably linked. Elements of the poem are reflected in this piece as well as melodic lines from Byrd’s original composition, which are often set against a backdrop of shimmering chords. While composing this piece, I kept the partbooks of the Mass in my sightline as a constant influence on the shapes and contours of the music. There is a sense of travel in the continuous humming, often linking sections as themes are passed around the voices. The ‘Osanna’ section borrows just the open vowels of the original text to create a warm, engulfing sound. This idea is heard twice in the piece, the second time returning elongated and more joyous.
from notes by John Rutter © 2018