Although you may view the land from a distance, you shall not enter it – the land that I am giving to the Israelites.
God does seem a bit cruel here. Moses can view the land that he slavishly guides his people to, but can’t enter it. But he can see it. Then he is to die. Isn’t this infinitely sad?
But as Moses himself says (Deut 31:29) the Israelites will screw it up. Maybe he is spared that final insult. They have moaned from the beginning, through the plagues, to the crossing of the Red Sea, the manna, the provision of water.
As much as Moses himself understands or accepts his fate his emotions would have had a field day.
In a far tinier way I felt something similar when I left the Christ choir. It was the right thing. Yet there was a sense of loss. A loss which is expressed through this piece.