Child: Two short Italianate anthems Ã”Ã‡Ã´ Bow down thine ear, O Lord O God, wherefore art thou absent from us?
Child's compositions for the Anglican rite comprise no fewer than seventeen services and eighty psalms and anthems. His music, which was widely performed in his day, is generally conservative in style and lacking in individuality. However, a number of his sacred pieces written in the 1630s and early 1640s, and including motets, psalms, some shorter full anthems and the verse anthem Turn Thou us, O Lord, reveal him in a different and perhaps unexpected light as an exponent of the Italian seconda practica which was becoming increasingly fashionable in England at this time. Its characteristics include bold chromatic writing and a rhetorical approach to word setting.
Our two anthems reflects these features. Bow down thine ear, O Lord, with its chromaticisms, false relations and shifting tonalities, is a striking example while the declamatory O God, wherefore art thou absent from us? employs typically ltalianate harmonic progressions and declamatory, recitativo-like homophonic writing.
This edition marks the first appearance in print of William Child's Bow down thine ear, O Lord.
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