A Hymn to Divine Musick
for soprano (d'-g'') and continuo
The second edition of Henry Playford’s second book of Harmonia Sacra of 1714 is described as a collection of ‘DIVINE HYMNS/AND/ DIALOGUES:/ WITH/A THOROW-BASS for the Theorbo-Lute,/ Bass-Viol, Harpsichord, or Organ./ Composed by the Best MASTERS……very much Enlarg’d and Corrected’ and claims ‘three excellent Anthems, never before Printed, by Mr Croft, Dr Blow and Mr J. Clark’.
Before this however, Henry Playford had published in 1700 ‘Two Divine Hymns: being a Suppliment to the second Book of Harmoniae Sacrae’. These works are ‘Blest be those sweet Regions by Mr Jer. Clark’ and ‘ A Hymn on Divine Musick set by Mr. William Crofts.’ Thanks are due to the British Library for making a copy of this volume available for study.
This exquisite song shows Croft at his very best, setting the text with sensitivity, and an elegant economy of effect.