This modern exploration of ancient chant is a setting of the eight Beatitudes in St. Matthew's Gospel Chapter 5 verses 3-10. Jesus commenced his Sermon on the Mount with this catalogue of people whose actions or ordeals he singled out for special tribute. British classical composer Howard Goodall explained to the HMV magazine why he chose the Beatitudes as a topic. Said Goodall: "They are one of the key passages of the New Testament for Christians of all denominations, but for some reason they haven't been set to music as often as other famous and memorable Biblical or liturgical passages (for instance, Psalm 23 or the Magnificat or the Lord's Prayer). They are both beautiful and profound and have a neat shape and rhythm-handy for setting to music. They also appeal to me because there is great truth in them, regardless of whether one is religious, since they are primarily about the need for people to be compassionate towards one another."