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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66677
Recording details: August 1993
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: February 1994
Total duration: 5 minutes 13 seconds

'It's difficult to imagine how this new recording could be bettered' (Fanfare, USA)

Thy way, O God, is holy, Z60
author of text
Psalm 77: 13-18

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Thy way, O God, is holy appears in an unusually large number of sets of cathedral part-books, including sets in York (the Gostling part-books), Worcester, St Paul’s, Ely, Durham, Gloucester, Lichfield, Lincoln and Windsor. Apart from a short concluding Alleluia, the anthem is set for two solo voices, a high tenor (or, rather less dramatically, a countertenor) and a bass. Scholars have ascribed the anthem to 1687, the same year as Sing unto God and Behold, I bring you glad tidings.

Purcell’s lyrical opening duet is treated as a vocal ritornello, for it returns twice more during the course of the anthem, separating sections of marvellously dramatic music. The first of these is ‘Thou art the God that doth wonders’: the opening two bars are theatrically repeated, transposed a third upwards, before the tenor joyfully celebrates, at the top of his vocal register, the God who has ‘mightily delivered thy people’. The bass rumbles away to represent the troubled depths of the sea, and the clouds pour out their contents: scales tumble from both singers as the air thunders and arrows fly. Calm is restored as the opening triple time returns and a short continuo ritornello leads into another vocal storm as ‘the voice of thy thunder was heard round about’. Lightning flashes in the voices and the earth moves and shakes. Once again the two singers joyfully assert that ‘Thou art the God that doth wonders’ before peace is restored with another repetition of ‘Thy way, O God, is holy’. The choir closes the anthem with a series of joyful alleluias.

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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