Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA66707
Recording details: April 1994
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: October 1994
Total duration: 5 minutes 0 seconds

'This is an altogether exceptional undertaking, deserving of congratulations all round' (Choir & Organ)

'An excellent addition to a very fine series of discs' X (Cross Rhythms)

Hear my prayer, O God, Z14
circa 1683
author of text
Psalm 55: 1-2, 4-8, 16-17

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The principal source for Hear my prayer, O God is a set of partbooks copied around 1683 for Worcester Cathedral. The majority of the setting is for a solo trio of high tenor, tenor and bass, a combination of voices which often inspired Purcell to produce expressive sacred music. Psalm 55 has a particularly mournful text, and the opening trio appeals that God should ‘hide not thyself from my petition’, the lines graphically falling a seventh onto ‘hide’, and with ‘mourn’ set lachrymosely over a plangent bass line. Purcell sets ‘My heart is disquieted within me’ for the two upper voices, bleakly picturing the fear of death which ‘is fallen upon me’. With trepidation the bass recounts the ‘fearfulness and trembling’ which ‘are come upon me’: the section ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove’ is set for a solo tenor, with a series of particularly inventive melismas for the word ‘fly’. At ‘Lo, then would I get me away’ the trio returns, with ‘I would make haste to escape’ and the ‘stormy wind’ coloured by a series of semiquaver runs.

In extant partbooks the treble line of the final chorus is incomplete: for this recording the missing phrases have been filled in by Robert King.

from notes by Robert King ©

Other albums featuring this work
'Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44141/51)
Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £40.00 CDS44141/51  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
   English   Français   Deutsch