Bow Down Thine Ear, Psalm LXXXVI, 1862. William James Linton, wood engraver, 1812-1898, after drawings by John Franklin, history painter, born ca. 1800. Pages from The Psalms of David, with illustrations by John Franklin, engraved by W. J. Linton. London: Sampson Low, Son, and Co., 1862, 136-37. Courtesy of Jan Lancaster, Washington, D.C.
After Parker moved to New Haven in 1893, he began several years of weekend commuting in order to continue his work as a church musician. He first commuted to Boston's Trinity Church until 1902, and next to New York's Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas until 1910. Parker's dedication to church music led to the composition of 29 anthems, two works of service music, and numerous hymn settings over the course of his career.
Parker composed the anthem Bow Down Thine Ear in 1890 during his tenure as organist and choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan. The piece, subtitled "Anthem for penitential seasons," is a setting of Psalm 86:1-5 for mixed chorus and organ. Like many of Parker's early anthems, the structure of the work is in simple ternary form (ABA). Both A sections open with a strong unison statement of the melodic theme followed by the theme's imitative elaboration. The B section suggests the ad libitum use of soprano and bass soloists, followed by a solo quartet.
G. Schirmer published the piece in 1890. (Please note that in m. 44 the soprano's E-natural may have been intended to be an E-flat, as suggested by the doubling in the accompaniment.)