This Christmas cantata is an uncanny recapture by Maxwell Davies of a relatively simple modal style: luminous, sometimes plaintive, sometimes rapturous. A linked series of George Mackay Brown settings designed to give pleasure (if sometimes strenuous pleasure) to a non-professional choir. A spiritual mystery is glimpsed in an Orcadian setting. Commissioned by the London Symphony Chorus to commemorate its 30th anniversary, with additional funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain.The first performance was given in October 1995 by the London Symphony Chorus and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox. Vocal score.