What Passing-Bells? takes its text from Wilfred Owen’s poem, Anthem for Doomed Youth which he wrote in 1917. The music, based around a calm ostinato figure recurring in the piano, creates an emotionally intense reflection of the sorrow expressed in the text.
Suitable for Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Baritone, What Passing-Bells? was first performed in London by Guy James (countertenor) and William Mason (piano) at St. Columba’s Church on November 26th 2017, almost exactly 100 years after Anthem for Doomed Youth was completed.
Douglas Mason began his musical training as a chorister in Gloucester Cathedral Choir under John Sanders. He subsequently read music at Durham University, and went on to train as a music teacher at Leeds University, also singing professionally as a lay clerk in the Choir of Leeds Parish Church at this time.
As a composer, Douglas focuses on choral works in particular, and he has also written and arranged music for schools. As a performer Douglas has sung on numerous television and radio broadcasts and appeared on recordings for several labels, including Abbey, Priory and ASC records. For several years he was also a member of the William Byrd Singers directed by Stephen Wilkinson.