Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


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Motet Notes

Henry Purcell: "Thou Knowest, Lord," Z. 58b

In 1677, Purcell composed the Funeral Sentences, bringing together originally intended for the funeral of Purcell's teacher Matthew Locke, and the music he wrote in 1694 for the Funeral of Queen Mary II. The texts, having to do with the transitory nature of earthly life, fear of divine judgment, and hope for divine mercy, are taken from the Book of Common Prayer of 1660 and from Job 14: 1-2. Thou know'st, Lord is one of two settings of this text from the Funeral Sentences by Purcell. The first is complex and polyphonic, while the second, heard today, is simple, homophonic and hushed. This resigned anthem for a departing spirit was fittingly repeated at Purcell's own funeral service, held only a few months after the Queen's, in November of 1695.

© Ryan Turner