Verleih mir Gnad zu dieser Frist

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A setting of the first verse of Johann Agricola’s Lutheran hymn, ‘Ich ruf’ zu dir’. A desire to compose an aria, a simple song, an expression of one person’s honest desire to be a better human being.

Verleih mir Gnad zu dieser Frist, / Lass mich doch nicht verzagen

Lend me grace in this life / Let me not lose courage.

The atmosphere is rich with associations – the solemn pacing of Javanese gamelan, the ghost of J.S. Bach, the arias of Vivaldi…

Dedicated to my wife, Michelle O’Rourke.

The text is as follows:

Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
Ich bitt, erhör mein Klagen,
Verleih mir Gnad zu dieser Frist,
Lass mich doch nicht verzagen;
Den rechten Glauben, Herr, ich mein,
Den wollest du mir geben,
Dir zu leben,
Mein’m Nächsten nütz zu sein,
Dein Wort zu halten eben.

Here is an English translation by Z. Philip Ambrose:

I call to thee, Lord Jesus Christ,
I pray thee, hear my crying;
Both lend me grace within this life
And let me not lose courage;
The proper path, O Lord, I seek,
Which thou didst wish to give me:
For thee living,
My neighbor serving well,
Thy word upholding justly.

Sub-title: Quintet # 6
Instrumentation: mezzo-soprano, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
Duration: circa 9′
Date of composition: 2011
Commissioned by Ergodos for the Ergodos Musicians production I Call to You.
First Performance: Ergodos Musicians (Michelle O’Rourke, mezzo-soprano; Jonathan Sage, clarinet; Cliodhna Ryan, violin; William Butt, cello; Michael McHale, piano; Garrett Sholdice, director), I Call To You, November 2011, Castalia Hall, Ballytobin, Co. Kilkenny
Score: Please email to obtain the latest score.