Hyperion Records

Thou wakeful shepherd that does Israel keep 'A morning hymn', Z198
composer
1688; Harmonia Sacra
author of text

Recordings
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 6' (CDA66663)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 6
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66663  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 CDA66663 [2'54] Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
Track 5 on CDS44141/51 CD6 [2'54] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Thou wakeful shepherd that does Israel keep 'A morning hymn', Z198
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Purcell’s setting of William Fuller’s ‘morning hymn’ dates from around 1688, the year when most of Purcell’s finest solo devotional songs emerged to be published in Harmonia sacra. Comparison with Fuller’s text (as published in Nahum Tate’s collection Miscellanea sacra: or poems on Divine & Moral Subjects) shows that Purcell made numerous changes before setting the poem: indeed, nearly half of the words in Purcell’s setting are not by Fuller but by the composer-turned-poet. The result is a poignant text that is more contemplative and, in the end, less optimistic than Fuller’s.

The singer wakes, by God’s goodness, to see another day, his first slow actions pictured in gently-moving harmony. His hymn is offered up through the scale, and the key brightens as he offers his ‘best morning sacrifice’, but humility quickly returns with ‘may it be gracious’, harmonically uncertain in its first statement, melodically unsure on its second in only reaching the seventh note of the scale. The ‘bed of sin’ is suitably gravelly, contrasted by the heights of ‘And do I live to see another day’ and the glorious melisma of ‘And sing thy praise’. But after brief optimism, regret quickly returns as the poet remembers ‘the time I have mis-spent in sinful merriment’ (Fuller writes ‘in senseless scenes of merriment’), and the pitch rises as he sings that if he could, he would undo the offences of the past. The innocent are pictured at the lowest end of the voice, the author’s crimes richly harmonised. ‘With joy I’d sing away my breath’ is set to a short burst of lilting arioso, but the breath is, quite literally, stopped to usher in the final desolate question.

from notes by Robert King ©

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66663 track 5
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-93-66305
Duration
2'54
Recording date
22 April 1993
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs & Lindsay Pell
Hyperion usage
  1. Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 6 (CDA66663)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: September 1993
    Deletion date: September 2008
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
  2. Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music (CDS44141/51)
    Disc 6 Track 5
    Release date: November 2002
    11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
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