Henry Purcell (1659-1695) held numerous appointments at the Royal Court and Westminster Abbey, and is considered by many to be the greatest ever English-born composer. His prolific work covered all fields: orchestral, ecclesiastical, operatic, theatrical, incidental, and chamber music were all enriched by his output.
Lord, How Long Wilt Thou Be Angry? (Z 25) was one of Purcell's earlier works. It was written soon after his appointment as Organist of Westminster Abbey in 1679, and was undoubtedly used there many times during his tenure. It takes extracts from Psalm 79 for the text. The music has influences of Byrd and Gibbons, but also shows how Purcell was beginning to develop his own distinctive style.