Duration: 2'30" |
Ensemble: SATB unaccompanied
Matins is one of three settings of George Herbert written in May 2020, intended to form a group of four with Virtue (Sweet Day), written in 2014. This is perhaps a less familiar poem than Virtue, in which the poet muses on his, and thus all humanity's, relationship with God, and his redemption: there is a typical wordplay near the end, where "sunbeam" could be heard as "Son beam", in other words the cross of Christ.
The music in the main part of this setting reflects the sequence of thoughts, and so in performance should seem not too smooth in the joins between sections. With the final prayer, though, there is a recapitulation of the music from the beginning, and this should build to the exultant conclusion.