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Hal Leonard

Hear My Prayer, O Lord - H. Purcell

Hear My Prayer, O Lord - H. Purcell

for SATB choir

This setting of the opening to Psalm 102 was composed in the early 1680s. Purcell, who was in his early twenties, had succeeded John Blow as organist of Westminster Abbey around the beginning of the decade and his star was in theascendant as a court composer.

In this piece he pulls off a remarkable compositional coup: a single, gradual climax, lasting over two minutes and culminating on the final repetition of the word 'come', is achieved through asublime, freely developing eight-part weave of the opening material. The harmonies that result from the chromatic inflections on the word 'crying' all serve the mounting tension in this extraordinary miniature.

Studyofthe autograph manuscript suggest that this anthem was intended to be the opening part of a larger work which was never completed.

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