The triple-time opening is basically homophonic, strong in its joyful affirmation of God’s goodness. The rapid-fire entries of ‘And so’ compellingly build up to ‘shall my words please him’, and are followed by a return to triple-metre homophony at ‘my joy shall be in the Lord’. The text, from Psalm 104, switches to recount the fate that awaits sinners, and Purcell introduces a six-part verse which alternates trios of upper and lower voices and then the full choir in rich, slow-moving harmony; here is delicious writing. But joy is not far away, and the anthem ends exultantly in the swinging triple metre of the opening and with a final, grand statement: ‘Praise the Lord’.
from notes by Robert King ©
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