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The Archbishop’s poem, with its repetitions and rhyming lines, each of four trochaic feet (pairs of long-short syllables), typical of medieval hymns, suited a composer aiming for simplicity with a twist. Appropriately for a work produced for the St Albans festival, Weir employs a virtuosic organ accompaniment, which clearly recalls Messiaen in its use of an octatonic scale, in what the French composer called his ‘second mode of limited transposition’. Weir notes that ‘as an illustration of the title the music (especially the organ part) ascends frequently’.
from notes by Emma Cleobury © 2019