Posts Tagged ‘ Purcell ’

Henry Purcell (1659-1695) Now that the sun hath veiled his light ‘An Evening Hymn’ – YouTube

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September 13, 2013

Purcell Closterman Small Purcell's setting of Bishop William Fuller's 'Evening Hymn' is utterly different to the type of music that he normally wrote for the church. This isn't a gloriously impressive anthem written to impress the congregation in the Chapel Royal. Instead it's a quiet, almost private, meditation, sung by a solo treble. Purcell based it on a five-bar ground and adjusted the vocal entries to disguise the repetitions in the bass so the treble had to be a very skilled singer. The hymn ends with a 'Halleluia' that is very different indeed from how Purcell normally set the word.

markfromireland

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Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Why do the heathen so furiously rage together?

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September 6, 2013

John Gostling (1644–1733) - captioned

'Why do the heathen so furiously rage together?' is another one of those anthems dating from the three year period between 1682 and 1685 during which Purcell composed some of his most accomplished string accompaniments. It starts with a superb string symphony which is interrupted by the bass soloist demanding to know 'Why do the heathen so furiously rage together ?'. The tenors join in at the second line recounting how the kings and rulers conspire together to free themselves from the rule of God and that of his chosen people. But God laughs these princes to scorn Purcell closes this first section to a close with some gentle triple-time.

The second section has features some wonderful bass solo writing which Purcell's  wrote for his friend and colleague the celebrated bass John Gostling in fact even when the bass is joined by the tenors he predominates. As he recounts how disobedience to God's purposes will be met by chastisement. The anthem returns to homophony at the end with first the soloists and then the choir revealing that all who put the trust in God will be blessed. The anthem ends with an 'Alleluia'. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Awake, awake, put on thy strength

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July 19, 2013

purcell stamp belgium 150x280 Purcell composed Awake, awake, put on thy strength between 1680 and 1682. It's a  cheerful piece with a splendid opening Symphony and lots of the triple-time dance like music that Purcell's royal master found so pleasing. It takes its text from Isaiah 51: 9-11 and is one of the seventeen anthems copied out in Purcell's own hand contained in the British Library's 'Royal' manuscript. For the present performance because the final chorus has never been found (the manuscript contains a blank page where it should be so presumably Purcell never got around to copying it out) Robert King reconstructed it using by continuing the ground bass and making use other material from Purcell.

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

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July 12, 2013

Purcell Closterman Small 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 the word 'wonderful'. The two tenors enter at 'for thou hast been a strength to the poor' continuing until the bass breaks in with 'And he will destroy in this mountain'. The three voices join together for the first time in the anthem to sing  that Godd will 'swallow up death in victory', this leads to the hymn-like, homophonic chorus 'O Lord, thou art my God …'. ´The anthem's final section consists of an animated trio with the bass providing sterling backing to the two tenors followed by a bouncing series of  Alleluias. The anthem closes with a homophic series of Alleluias from the choir. You'll find it and its text below. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Lord, not to us, but to thy name

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July 5, 2013

There's really not much to say about this week's entry in my series dealing with Purcell's religious music except that it's an incomplete setting of a text by John Pat­rick paraphrasing Psalm 115. It's very short (slightly over a minute long) but don't let that put you off, it's sufficiently complete that it constitutes a self-contained anthem that's well worth listening to. You'll find it below sung by  Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Charles Daniels (tenor) and Michael George (bass). Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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