During the 1680s Purcell set no less than nine of the psalms paraphrases written by John Patrick to music. Hear me, O Lord, the great support (Z133) is based upon Psalm 4's nine verses. Its opening is set for all three voices but Purcell creates a rich four-part text by having the bass digress from the continuo line. The rich textured smoothness of the opening is in stark contrast to the defiance of the question posed by each of the singers in turn at 'How long will ye pursue vain hopes?' The middle voice's solo section that follows 'Know that the Lord does righteous men…' is interrupted by bass who commands us not to sin and the higher tenor who admonishes us to fear God. I've always enjoyed the next two lines:
Join a pure heart with trust in God
As the best sacrifice.
but it's the optimism of the tenor solo at 'Thy love more cheers my heart…' that makes this piece special for me. Purcell ends the piece with great serenity taking us down the musical scale at 'Down will I lie in peace, and sleep' to conclude that:
No fears disturb me, whilst I know
In God my safety lies.
It's sung below by the tenors Charles Daniels and Paul Agnew with the bass being sung by Michael George. Enjoy :-).