Purcell: Divine Hymns ()

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With one singer to a part and very sparing use of continuo, this 2006 Virgin recording of Divine Hymns by Henry Purcell, William Croft, John Blow, and Pelham Humfrey is both lively and severe. Performed by Les Arts Florissants under the direction of William Christie, the works here express a huge emotional range, and the singers -- tenor Paul Agnew and soprano Claire Debono, especially -- are outstanding. Agnew's "Lord, what is man" and Debono's "Tell me, some pitying angel" are particular highlights. Led from either the ...

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  1. Jehova, quam multi sunt, sacred song for tenor, bass, chorus & continuo, Z. 135
  2. A Hymn on Divine Musick
  3. Lord, what is man?, sacred song for soprano & continuo, Z. 192
  4. Hosanna to the highest, sacred song for bass, chorus & continuo, Z. 187
  5. Tell me, some pitying angel, (The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation), sacred song, for soprano & continuo, Z. 196
  6. Since God so tender a regard, sacred song for tenor, bass, male chorus & continuo, Z. 143
  7. Funeral Sentences (for the funeral of Queen Mary), Z. 27: In the midst of life we are in death / Thou know'st, Lord, the secrets of our hearts
  8. Peaceful is he, and most secure, for voice & continuo
  9. Lord, I have sinn'd
  10. O, all ye people, clap your hands, sacred song for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass & continuo, Z. 138
  11. In guilty night, sacred song, Z. 134
  12. The night is come, for 2 voices & continuo (doubtful), ZD77
  13. Close thine eyes and sleep secure, sacred song for soprano, bass & continuo, Z. 184
  14. A Hymn to God the Father (Harmonia Sacra, Book 1, 1688)
  15. Now that the sun hath veiled his light, sacred song for soprano & continuo ("An Evening Hymn"), Z. 193
  16. Salvator Mundi for chorus
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