The composer has combined a single line of Latin, 'O virgo splendens', with an earthy, late 13th-century Marian text in Middle English to create a work which reflects both the divine and the human qualities of the Virgin Mary.
Beginning and ending with plainchant-style passages, Hevene Quene is by turns restrained, sparkling, pensive, and pleading. Suitable for the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for concert use, this is an approachable and rewarding anthem. For SATB a cappella.
This piece was first performed by the Temple Church Choir, directed by Stephen Layton, at Temple Church, Fleet Street, London, on 10 July 2005.