This work was written in 1971. The text is derived from the Latin Requiem Mass, treated as a kind of sacred poem rather than a liturgical text, and the order of sections is much altered. The work derives principally from the opening piano harmonies and the soprano's initial melodic lines - the latter, which have an affinity (not least in rhythmic accentuation) with certain aspects of plainchant, combine with the piano chords and embellishments to produce a serial reservoir of material is used fairly strictly, even in seemingly freer sections. The form is arch-like, the opening material returning, substantially altered, at the end, with as the work's centre a scherzo-like Sanctus introduced and punctuated by chords derived in lay-out from bell sounds.
The work was written in memory of Alan Rawsthorne and Sir John Barbirolli, and was first performed at the Wigmore Hall in 1979 by Jane Manning and Richard Rodney Bennett.