Hyperion Records

Hear my prayer, O God, Z14
composer
circa 1683
author of text
Psalm 55: 1-2, 4-8, 16-17

Recordings
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 10' (CDA66707)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 10
MP3 £3.50FLAC £3.50ALAC £3.50Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66707  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51   Download currently discounted
'Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44141/51)
Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £40.00 CDS44141/51  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Track 5 on CDA66707 [5'00] Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
Track 5 on CDS44141/51 CD10 [5'00] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Hear my prayer, O God, Z14
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The principal source for Hear my prayer, O God is a set of partbooks copied around 1683 for Worcester Cathedral. The majority of the setting is for a solo trio of high tenor, tenor and bass, a combination of voices which often inspired Purcell to produce expressive sacred music. Psalm 55 has a particularly mournful text, and the opening trio appeals that God should ‘hide not thyself from my petition’, the lines graphically falling a seventh onto ‘hide’, and with ‘mourn’ set lachrymosely over a plangent bass line. Purcell sets ‘My heart is disquieted within me’ for the two upper voices, bleakly picturing the fear of death which ‘is fallen upon me’. With trepidation the bass recounts the ‘fearfulness and trembling’ which ‘are come upon me’: the section ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove’ is set for a solo tenor, with a series of particularly inventive melismas for the word ‘fly’. At ‘Lo, then would I get me away’ the trio returns, with ‘I would make haste to escape’ and the ‘stormy wind’ coloured by a series of semiquaver runs.

In extant partbooks the treble line of the final chorus is incomplete: for this recording the missing phrases have been filled in by Robert King.

from notes by Robert King ©

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