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Weelkes: Give the King thy judgements

Weelkes: Give the King thy judgements

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£2.50

Publisher: Cathedral Press
ISBN: CP29

Give the King thy judgements can be regarded as one of Weelkes's finest verse anthems. Its subtitle 'For the King's Day' indicates that it was intended for a particular royal occasion associated with James I - either his birthday or the annual commemoration of his accession - so it was almost certainly composed for the Chapel Royal. This is borne out by the diversity and provenances of its manuscript sources as well as its six-part contrapuntal chorus writing. Chichester pieces were characterised by more homophonic and less demanding four- or five-part choruses.

Weelkes often reworked material within his verse compositions so achieving a high degree of musical integration. In Give the King thy judgements, the first and third choruses are identical (but with the 'soprano' and alto parts reversed, as was often the case at that time) while the music of the second chorus also draws on the same material. A similar approach is adopted in his verse anthem Give ear, O Lord [CP 12] where each chorus, as well as the final verse section is a redevelopment of the same motif. As with many of Weelkes's anthems and services, Give the King thy judgements incorporates cross-references with his other sacred music. The motif set to the words 'and look upon the face of thine annointed' is reworked in the full anthem Hosanna to the Son of David at the words 'Thou that sittest in the highest heavens' while the 'Amen' resembles the setting of 'Amen' (a tone higher) in the full anthem Gloria in excelsis Deo.

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