Hyperion Records

Awake, awake, put on thy strength, Z1
composer
1680/2
author of text
Isaiah 51: 9-11

Recordings
'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 Sacred Music' (CDS44141/51)
Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music
Buy by post £40.00 CDS44141/51  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Track 10 on CDA66716 [8'36] Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
Track 10 on CDS44141/51 CD11 [8'36] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Awake, awake, put on thy strength, Z1
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Awake, awake, put on thy strength is found only in one source, the ‘Royal’ manuscript, copied by Purcell in his early years and now in The British Library. Seventeen of Purcell’s verse anthems with strings are preserved in that collection, all copied before 1685. This particular anthem probably dates from 1680-82. The final chorus was never copied; instead, the manuscript contains a blank page. For this recording Robert King has reconstructed the missing bars, continuing the ground bass and utilising material that is largely Purcell’s.

The Symphony is splendidly grand, the dotted rhythms of the opening underpinned by Purcell’s glorious harmonies and wonderfully-crafted inner parts. The second, triple-time section dances in the joyful, lilting rhythms that so pleased King Charles II and leads straight into the first vocal music: a solo bass, remembering past miracles, loudly calls on God to wake and ‘put on thy strength’. At ‘Therefore the redeemed of the Lord’ a trio of soloists enters in more gentle vein, with especially appealing harmony colouring ‘and sorrow and mourning shall flee away’, and are followed by a reprise of the dancing triple section of the Symphony. This time Purcell continues and extends the section with the three soloists: his Alleluias dance joyously over a swinging, four-bar ground bass, wonderfully compelling in their inexorable momentum, building towards a string ritornello (containing one of Purcell’s expressive sections, sometimes marked ‘drag’ but here the equally direct ‘slow’) and a joyous final chorus.

from notes by Robert King ©

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