The opening demonstrates those influences, with the first homophonic phrase leading to a brief imitative section ‘early will I seek thee’. The verse section for lower voices ‘My soul thirsteth for thee’ shows a greater degree of melodic and harmonic inventiveness and leads back to another short chorus section, based on another two imitative points. The upper voices are provided with a touching solo trio, the word ‘loving’ treated affectionately and, with the full choir, counterpoint returns, climbing through the musical scale for ‘and lift up thy hands in thy name’. At ‘therefore under the shadow of thy wings’ Purcell turns to antiphony between decani and cantoris, the two sides of the choir. With the ‘Halleluia’ churchgoers will find themselves on familiar ground, for later hymn arrangers, always keen to spot a fine tune, did so with this, naming Purcell’s melody ‘Westminster Abbey’.
from notes by Robert King ©
O God, thou art my God Z35 [3'38]
Other recordings available for download
|Westminster Abbey Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor), Robert Quinney (organ)|
Other albums featuring this work