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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66686
Recording details: January 1994
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: April 1994
Total duration: 2 minutes 46 seconds

'The instrumental playing is of exceptionally high quality and the three soloists are outstanding' (CDReview)

Full of wrath, his threatening breath, Z185
composer
author of text
On the conversion of St Paul

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The author of ‘Full of wrath, his threatening breath’, the Cambridge-educated preacher Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667) was a chaplain to Charles I who survived capture during the Civil War. He was forced to retire to Wales where he wrote most of his poetry, some books of sermons, a manual of daily prayers and a famous argument for toleration. Taylor’s fortunes rose at the Restoration and he was made Bishop of Down and Connor. His literary style was usually colourful, as is demonstrated by this account of the conversion of St Paul on the road to Damascus.

Purcell set three of Taylor’s poems, revelling in their vivid language and sentiments and countering their strong texts by adding his own extraordinary harmonic twists and turns. The continuo rhythmically tramp the road to Damascus whilst Saul is ‘belching nought but chains and death’: Purcell illustrates the light that blinds him with a series of extraordinarily harmonised melismas on ‘glorious’. The inexorable progress of the continuo is briefly halted at ‘On his amazed eyes it night did fling’ before Saul continues his journey, now converted from ‘a child of wrath’ to become a ‘vessel full of glory’. The setting closes with a prayer that God should ‘curb us in our dark and sinful way’, as we ‘down horrid precipices run’. Purcell sets ‘down’ with especial emphasis.

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)  
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