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Weelkes: Give ear, O Lord

Weelkes: Give ear, O Lord

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More than 50 units in stock.

Choral leaflet

£2.50

Publisher: Cathedral Press
ISBN: CP12

Thomas Weelkes wrote some fifty anthems of which approximately a half are verse anthems. Many of the anthems survive only in an a fragmentary state and no more than two dozen, including just eight verse anthems, are complete or can be reconstructed with a reasonable degree of confidence. As with his services and full anthems, the verse anthems vary greatly in scope and difficulty reflecting, in most cases, the forces for which he was writing. At Chichester Cathedral, where Weelkes was Organist, the Choir was of limited size but the resources at the Chapel Royal were altogether larger and more expert. Although there is no direct evidence that he held the coveted position of Gentleman of the Chapel Royal much of his larger-scale church music was written for the Chapel.

Give ear, O Lord was included in Thomas Myriell's manuscript anthology Tristitiae remedium which dates from 1616 and is a major source of Jacobean vocal music. This suggests that the anthem was intended for use in the London area rather than at Chichester despite its relatively modest layout. All of the material is available although the organ part provides only a skeletal outline - which, in the early seventeenth century, would have been amplified by the organist. It is one of Weelkes' finest sacred works with an expressive response to the poignant text. The cross-referencing of the material at the refrain 'Mercy, good Lord' to achieve musical and structural integration is characteristic of the composer.