Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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Dating from 1680-82, the work is in eight parts, and sets the first verse of Psalm 102. With a despairing text and large vocal forces at his disposal, Purcell’s imagination was raised to its highest level, yet the melodic material is, on its own, quite simple. The first phrase, ‘Hear my prayer, O Lord’, uses just two melancholy notes a minor third apart, but it is the turning chromaticism of ‘crying’ that gives the scope for such plangency. The harmonic language, always (after the opening phrases) in at least six parts, is exceptional, even for Purcell, but the most extraordinary feature of the anthem is the build-up which Purcell orchestrates from the outset – here is an inexorable vocal crescendo lasting over three minutes, culminating on a monumental discord on the last repetition of ‘come’. With such a powerful piece, we felt that to edit together more than one ‘take’ would detract from the extraordinary atmosphere that this anthem generates: the version performed here is that comparative rarity on modern recordings, a whole ‘take’, without an edit from start to finish – a genuine performance of one of the truly great anthems of the English church music repertory.
from notes by Robert King ©
extrait des notes rédigées par Robert King © 1992
Français: Martine Erussard
aus dem Begleittext von Robert King © 1992
Deutsch: Meckie Hellary
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