Orlando Gibbons provides the compositional bridge from William Byrd to Henry Purcell, straddling the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. O Lord, in they wrath rebuke me not, A setting for six part choir, SSAATB of Psalm 6:1-4, shares its opening with the composer’s Fantasia a 6 for viols, but the magic is in the shifting textures employed to bring the text to life. Gibbons deliberately reduces the forces to highlight two major points in the text: ‘for I am weak’, sung only by the upper three voices, and the exclusion of highest voice for ‘My soul is also sore troubled’. The following intense cry of ‘but, Lord, how long with thou punish me?’ contains the work’s most surprising, but ultimately delicious chord.

©Owain Park