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…

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…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust Z16

Purcell’s verse anthem In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (Z16) dates from around 1682 – the middle of the period during which Purcell composed most of his anthems with string accompaniment. Its source is the British Museum’s ‘Royal’ manuscript but it’s probably based on an earlier and rougher autograph now held in…