Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Who hath believed our report?

The text to this anthem is from the Book of Isaiah and if you think you’ve heard it very recently you probably have –  sixty years after Purcell wrote this setting Handel set much of the same text for the second part of Messiah. The autograph manuscript for Purcell’s setting is to be found in…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Turn thou us, O good Lord

I’m including Turn thou us, O good Lord (Z62) more for the sake of completeness than anything else as I’m far from sure that the work is indeed by Purcell. It’s found in the first volume of the Flackton collection 1  and was noted by Flackton as follows: The 3.d Collect for the 30 of…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): My heart is fixed, O God

This wonderful verse anthem is one of my favourites I find it’s cheerful expansiveness simply irresistible while its joyful text from Psalm 57 is a great tonic to the Anglican angst in which Purcell all too frequently indulges himself. The source is the ‘Royal Music’ manuscript which dates it to the three year period 1682-85…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): O Lord God of hosts

Purcell only ever wrote three anthems scored for eight-part choir of which ‘O Lord God of hosts’ (Z37) is one. It’s an early work which wrote by 1681 at the latest and it’s more likely that he wrote it a year earlier. The text is from Psalm 80 and Purcell who loved nothing more than…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): O praise the Lord, all ye heathen

We don’t know exactly when Purcell composed this short verse anthem but it must have been before December 1681 because it’s one of the anthems copied out in the York ‘Gostling’ partbooks by Stephen Bing and Bing died during the month of December 1681. It’s quite an Italianate piece written for two tenors with minimal…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): O consider my adversity Z32

Purcell seems to have composed the verse anthem ‘O consider my adversity (Z32)‘ relatively late in his career. It takes its text from eight verses of Psalm 119 setting them mostly for solo trio. It’s a surprisingly large-scale work that Purcell starts by having each voice sing the opening phrase over a descending continuo line…

Pausing Purcell Postings

Due to pressure of work. I’ve decided to take a break from posting about Purcell’s religious music for the month of August. The series will resume on September 6th 2013. You’ll find a small consolation below, enjoy :-).’ markfromireland Henry Purcell: Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary | Jean Tubery & La Fenice Video…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): O Lord, thou art my God

O Lord, thou art my God is another one of the anthems Purcell composed between 1680 and 1682 the manuscript for which is to be found in Purcell’s own hand in Cambridge University’s Fitzwilliam Museum’s MS 88. It starts with a solo bass passage praising God that has a particularly good series of roulades on…