Hyperion Records

Complete Service in B flat, Z230
composer
1681
author of text
Benedictus: Luke 1: 68-79; Benedicite: Daniel 3: 57-88; Magnificat: Luke 1: 46-55; Nunc dimittis: Luke 2: 29-32

Recordings
'Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44141/51)
Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music
Buy by post £40.00 CDS44141/51  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'O praise the Lord' (CDA67792)
O praise the Lord
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67792 
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 10' (CDA66707)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 10
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66707  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51   Download currently discounted
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 7' (CDA66677)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 7
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66677  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51  
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 9' (CDA66693)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 9
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66693  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51   Download currently discounted
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 11' (CDA66716)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 11
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66716  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51   Download currently discounted
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 8' (CDA66686)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 8
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66686  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51   Download currently discounted
Details
Alternative Evening Canticle 1: Cantate Domino
Alternative Evening Canticle 2: Deus misereatur
Communion Canticle 1: Kyrie eleison
Track 6 on CDA66707 [1'02] Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
Track 6 on CDS44141/51 CD10 [1'02] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Communion Canticle 2: Nicene Creed
Evening Canticle 1: Magnificat  My soul doth magnify the Lord
Evening Canticle 2: Nunc dimittis  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace
Morning Canticle 1: Te Deum
Morning Canticle 2: Benedictus  Blessed by the Lord God of Israel
Morning Canticle 3: Benedicite  O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord
Morning Canticle 4: Jubilate
Track 8 on CDA66677 [2'24] Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
Track 8 on CDS44141/51 CD7 [2'24] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Complete Service in B flat, Z230
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Purcell’s ‘Complete Service’ in B flat, a setting of ten canticles, though not unique, is a comparative rarity for its time. Alongside a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (and their alternatives, the Cantate Domino and Deus misereatur) for performance at Evensong, Purcell wrote a Te Deum, Benedictus, Benedicite and Jubilate for Morning Service and Kyrie and Nicene Creed for the Communion service. The setting must have been extremely useful to cathedral and other choirs for the service appears, either complete or in part, in numerous different manuscripts all over Britain and has been included on service lists almost ever since. Compared to the anthems, the B flat service settings appear conservative, the harmony usually remaining relatively simple and often homophonic. However, they do contain ingenious canonic and other contrapuntal devices, and their choruses alternate with sections of verse which are usually split between three upper and three lower solo voices. A payment of thirty shillings is registered in the accounts of Westminster Abbey for Michaelmas 1681 ‘for writing Mr Purcell’s service and anthem’.

The Te Deum and Jubilate are of course very different to the more famous 1694 settings in D major (recorded on Disc 2), for the B flat service was not written for a grand public celebration of St Cecilia’s Day. But the earlier setting is nonetheless beautifully crafted, alternating sections of chorus and verse and adding further variety in the choral sections with antiphonal effects between the two ‘sides’ of the choir, decani and cantoris. Purcell also skilfully colours his text by the allocation of his forces: in the Te Deum the lower solo trio sing ‘To thee all angels cry aloud’, the three upper voices (two trebles and a tenor) depict the ‘Cherubin and Seraphim’ (two of the highest of the nine orders of angels, associated respectively with knowledge and love) and the full choir take on the role of the Heavenly Host and their continual cries of ‘Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth’.

Purcell relaxes the mood for the more reflective central section of the Te Deum ‘When thou took’st upon thee’ and the chorus that follows, especially the setting of ‘We therefore pray thee’ is particularly effective. At ‘Vouchsafe, O Lord’ (for which in the 1694 setting Purcell produced one of his very greatest movements) Purcell changes the soloists’ distribution, adding a second bass and creating the only moment when treble and bass soloists sing together. The result is especially touching. The Jubilate has a text considerably shorter than the Te Deum and Purcell’s aim is, again, to get through the text speedily. At ‘O go your way into his gates’ he skilfully incorporates a double canon in contrary motion — ‘per arsin et thesin’: the trebles exactly copy the tenor line but in inversion, and the altos do the same with the separate line first heard in the basses. There is one short section of verse, ‘For the Lord is gracious’, which is heard before the concluding Gloria.

from notes by Robert King İ

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66707 track 8
Communion Canticle 2: Nicene Creed
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-94-70708
Duration
4'18
Recording date
1 April 1994
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 10 (CDA66707)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: October 1994
    Deletion date: May 2006
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
  2. Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music (CDS44141/51)
    Disc 10 Track 8
    Release date: November 2002
    11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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