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"Some 15 years ago," says George Lloyd, "I wanted to write a Te Deum by way of saying thank you, but parts of the text (the bits about cherubim and seraphim) I felt unable to comprehend, so I wrote a violin concerto instead. A pity, because although I no longer attend any church I am very much a believer. In 1990 I conducted by Twelfth Symphony for a Three Choirs Festival concert at Worcester; as I waited, in the garden of the East End, for my turn, the choir was singing some Delius. The sounds seemed to float from nowhere and blended with a most perfect summer evening; it was a magical moment and I felt that I must try some time to write a choral work with religious overtones. After much searching I fell back on the text of the Mass. I enjoy setting Latin; it is useful for a composer not only because of the fine sounds but because the words can be repeated a dozen times without anyone noticing. There were still a few difficulties for me but I managed to square these with my own beliefs and I called the result A Symphonic Mass to denote that it is non-liturgical."
George Lloyd: A Symphonic Mass
Sanctus and Benedictus
“And finally, another important choral work from this century, perhaps George Lloyd’s best work yet: varied in color, elegiac and triumphant, introspective, and celebratory all at the same time”