Psalm 31
for Soprano and Piano (2020)


Duration: 4 1/2 minutes

Psalm 31
In Gottes Händen geborgen

HERR, auf dich traue ich, lass mich nimmermehr zuschanden werden,
errette mich durch deine Gerechtigkeit.
Neige deine Ohren zu mir, hilf mir eilends!
Sei mir ein starker Fels und meine Burg, und um deines Namens
willen wollest du mich leiten und führen.
Ich freue mich und bin fröhlich über deine Güte....du stellst meine
Füße auf weiten Raum.
Seid getrost und unverzagt alle, die ihr des HERRN harret!


Hear MIDI version:

     Here I have set a selection of favourite portions of Psalm 31 for a friend who recently suffered a great loss. Heike de Young, a wonderful German soprano with a
most impressive repertoire, asked me to write it in memory of a friend of hers who died recently.

     I am always willing to take on a commission like this, even if its origin is not a happy one, and the prospect of having such a fine performer sing my work is most gratifying. The text is in German and I needed some help with the rhythm of the language and the placement of accents, but I think that with the suggestions of my wife, Andrea Mellis, it is now correct (she knows the language much better than I do).

     In form it is a kind of passacaglia, with a single repeating phrase in the accompaniment throughout. My repeating phrase however, does not remain constant but changes key with each new phrase of the text, and finally ends in the voice line itself. It is quite effective, as I hope the MIDI file on this page will show. You may download the opening pages here also. For the full score, please send me an email or visit the Canadian Music Centre.

     If you decide to perform this piece, do please notify me of date and location so I can keep my Performances Page up-to-date.