The Lord’s my shepherd

  • Composed Summer 2017
  • Words from Psalm 23, hymn by W. Whittingham ( c. 1524 – 1579 ).
  • Peter Burton
  • Scored for SATB and piano
  • Difficulty: Easy

This well known Psalm 23 has been put to music by many composers. In my version I have one main tune or theme running through the whole piece – if you like “walking with the Lord, our Shepherd”. The tune alters as we meet the different moods that we walk in whether by green pastures or in dark valleys.

We start with a joyful walk; there is almost a skip in the music. This tune is sung first by the ladies then by the men. They then join to produce a full harmony verse.

We then fade away and the piano introduces the same tune but in a more reflective sombre guise. This reflects the walking in the valley of death. Our walk is hard and fitful. A harmony verse is then repeated by men singing the tune while the women sing a three part descant. The intensity grows as it holds true to the promise that God will be comfort us in the hard times.

David who wrote the Psalm comes out of this dark valley and rejoices in the fact he will be blessed by God ultimately in him being with Him in heaven. The initial tune with a more update rhythm reflects this rejoicing, almost a dancing walk by now !

All the singers sing this tune followed by a soprano descant. We end the piece fading away as we remember that “in God’s house for evermore my dwelling place shall be”.

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