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Mass takes as its starting point the idea of the paraphrase mass, a Renaissance genre in which existing pieces of music were used as the basis of the composition of a mass. In the present piece, I have made reference to a large number of different composers. Sometimes this takes the form of literal quotations, such as the figure at the opening of 'Der Leiermann' from Schubert's Winterreise which appears at several points; sometimes the references are much more abstract, such as the ostinato-based organ interlude, which suggests the (also ostinato-based) organ interlude in Janacek's Glagolitic Mass. The other composers referenced are Britten, Palestrina, Ravel, Schoenberg and Wagner. Knowledge of these references, however, is at no point essential to an understanding of the music, which is intended to cohere on its own terms.