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In exitu Israel

composer
author of text
Psalm 114 (113): 1-3

 
Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), the father of Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876), was a child prodigy. Dr William Boyce visited the Wesleys in 1774 and exclaimed of the young Samuel. ‘Sir, I hear you have an English Mozart in your house’. Shortly after this encounter, Boyce was astonished to be presented with a complete oratorio, Ruth, composed by the eight-year-old boy.

Rumours were rife in the mid-1780s that Samuel had become a Roman Catholic. Later in his life Samuel denied this, but attracted to it he most certainly was. He set much latin to music in the years following the 1780s, although it has been suggested that this was more out of love of the liturgy and the music than of Catholicism. His latin music is some of his best, and he continued to write for the Catholic liturgy for over forty years.

In exitu Israel is written in eight parts, and scored for double choir. Many criticisms have been levelled at the work form the point of view of the anthem’s musical form, although the musical content is quite thrilling. One writer has commented that the discords with which the work ends would have made poor Attwood shudder!

from notes by William McVicker 1992

Recordings

The English Anthem, Vol. 3
CDA66618Archive Service

Details

Track 7 on CDA66618 [6'18] Archive Service

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