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I was glad when they said unto me
Anthem for the Peace of Ryswick and the opening of St Paul's Cathedral, 2 December 1697
author of text
Psalm 122: 1-3, 6, 7

'Blow, Boyce & Handel: Music for St Paul's' (CDH55359)
Blow, Boyce & Handel: Music for St Paul's
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Movement 1: I was glad when they said unto me
Movement 2: One thing have I desired of the Lord
Movement 3: They shall prosper that love thee
Movement 4: The king shall rejoice in thy strength
Movement 5: As for his enemies

I was glad when they said unto me
In 1694 Henry Purcell wrote his famous D major Te Deum and Jubilate with strings and trumpets. The work seems to have been first performed during the 1694 St Cecilia celebrations, but Thomas Tudway wrote that this ‘Noble Composition, the first of its kind in England’ had actually been composed ‘principally against the opening of St Pauls’. It was repeated in the 1697 service, by which time Purcell was dead, so it fell to his colleague John Blow to write a new anthem for the occasion. I was glad when they said unto me is a setting of the text Bishop Compton took for his sermon during the service, and is scored for the same orchestra as the Purcell. It also follows the Purcell in consisting of a patchwork of short, contrasted sections, though there are also two self-contained solos, the expressive duet ‘One thing have I desired’ and the florid solo with two trumpets ‘The king shall rejoice’.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1998

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