Hyperion Records

The Lord is king, be the people never so impatient, Z53
composer
author of text
Psalm 99: 1-3, 5

Recordings
'Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 3' (CDA66623)
Purcell: The Complete Anthems and Services, Vol. 3
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66623  Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51  
'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 2 on CDA66623 [4'52] Archive Service; also available on CDS44141/51
Track 2 on CDS44141/51 CD3 [4'52] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

The Lord is king, be the people never so impatient, Z53
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The writing for two solo trebles in The Lord is king, be the people never so impatient is clear proof that the Chapel Royal was blessed with two especially fine choristers (probably, we can assume, during the early 1680s). Purcell’s setting is highly Italianate and florid, at times almost instrumental, and is a vocal tour de force to which only two highly talented boys could have done justice.

The opening section contains all these extrovert qualities, the two voices overlapping and intertwining while the earth rumbles away in its melismatic disquiet. ‘The Lord is great’ is beautifully set, lifting the voices exultantly through their upper registers, and joyfully giving ‘thanks unto thy name’. The return from the bouncing triple-time to a duple measure at ‘which is great’ is highly effective, but even more so is the gradual change to awestruck wonder as the section ends ‘is great, wonderful and holy’. The chorus maintains this deferential mood, the word ‘fall’ given word-painting such as only Purcell could, before the two boys return for an even more florid Gloria. Their section culminates in a thoroughly violinistic outflow of notes before a simple choral Alleluia closes a unique verse anthem.

from notes by Robert King ©

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