Despite the fact that Let God arise (Z23) is a very early work it's by no means either a juvenile or an unoriginal piece of work. Far from it, the young Purcell scored it for two solo tenors and it's a perfect example of his original and richly textured approach to word-setting. He composed it sometime in his late teens and it, together with many other anthems, can be found it the Fitzwilliam museum's Isaack manuscript (Fitzwilliam Museum MS 117).
Purcell opens in fine style scattering God's enemies before him in a cascade of downward scales like leaves in an autumn wind, these enemies – 'those that hate him' flee before disappearing like smoke in the wind and melting like wax in God's presence. The righteous, represented here by the choir, cannot restrain their joy at this spectacle. The anthem's most powerful and effective section starts next with 'O God, when thou wentest forth' Purcell the earth shakes not once but twice the second quake being marked a quite remarkable harmonic shift the heavens are not immune to God's presence as Purcell makes clear with his treatment of the heavens dropping in 'the presence of God'. Purcell concludes the anthem with a jagged musical representation Mount Sinai that moves briefly into triple time before the anthem ends. It's sung below by tenors Charles Daniels and Mark Padmore with the King's Consort Choir. Enjoy :-).