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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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The only existing material of Psalm 114 (116) (1852), scored for five-part chorus and trombones, has been a very unclear manuscript, sometimes incomplete in detail. It has here been very skilfully realized by Matthew Best. The ambiguity in the Psalm numbering is due to the fact that 114 is on Bruckner’s manuscript but the German words correspond to the first nine verses of Psalm 116 in the English Bible. These are preceded by an Alleluia. The music is at first of an impressive archaic austerity, bare in harmony, and strikingly simple in texture. E minor is the opening key, but G major ultimately dominates. The most impressive passages are the simplest, and when Bruckner launches into a fugue (‘I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living’) the effect is sometimes more than a little stiff, and the counterpoint is decidedly pre-Sechter! As a whole, however, this small work proves itself a necessary key to the understanding of Bruckner’s development, and finely performed (as it is here) can give considerable pleasure.
Alleluia! Liebe, liebe erfüllt mich, weil der Herr die Stimme meines Flehens erhört hat. Weil er sein Ohr zu mir neigte, mein Leben lang werd’ ich ihn anrufen. Es umgaben mich die Schmerzen des Todes, es trafen mich die Gefahren der Hölle. Trübsal und Schmerz fand ich Trübsal und Schmerz. Da rief ich den Namen des Herrn an; O Herr, erlöse meine Seele. Barmherzig ist der Herr, und gerecht; unser Gott ist barmherzig. Der Herr bewahret die Kleinen: ich war gedemüthigt und er half mir, Kehre zurück, meine Seele in deine Ruh’, denn der Herr hat dir wohlgethan, Denn er errettete meine Seele vom Tode, meine Augen von den Thranen, meine Füsse vom Falle. Ich will gefallen dem Herrn im lande der Lebendigen.
Alleluia! I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow, trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee, For Thou has delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.