“An Evening Hymn” by Henry Purcell



Henry Purcell‘s “An Evening Hymn” was originally published by Henry Playford in two anthologies of devotional vocal music known as “Harmonia Sacra” (London, 1688, 1693).

The “Hymn” (“Now that the Sun hath veil’d his light”) is no hymn in the modern traditional sense but a meditative song composed over a ground bass, a chaconne of sorts. It is one of two vocal works in the anthologies by Purcell which are immensely popular; the other is the “Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation” (“Tell me, some pitying angel”).

The edition of the “Hymn” I’ve made is based on Playford’s 1688 publication. The original key of G major is retained, yet there is a second version in D major so lower voices can take advantage.

Both versions are free to download.

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