Henry George Ley (1887 – 1962): King Henry VI of England – Prayer

Henry VI small captionedLey is best remembered as an organist, he began his musical career as a choirboy at St George’s, Windsor, he studied the organ with Walter Parratt at the Royal College of Music, winning an organ scholarship to Keble College, Oxford, and while still an undergraduate was appointed organist of Christ Church (1909), subsequently he became choragus of the University and joined the teaching staff of the Royal College of Music before taking up a post at Eton College. His four-part (SATB) setting of a Prayer of King Henry VI, which you’ll also hear called the "Founder’s Prayer" is a beautifully simple and effective piece of music very much a part of the renaissance of English choral-music in which his generation participated. It’s sometimes criticised as being a very conservative and backward-looking piece but such criticism is I think to miss the point. His brief was to compose a piece that reflected the text and this he did, remarkably well. Enjoy :-).


Henry George Ley (1887 – 1962): King Henry VI of England – Prayer

Domine, Jesu Christe,
qui me creasti,
redemisti, et preordinasti
ad hoc quod sum,
tu scis quid de me facere vis;
fac de me secundum
voluntatem tuam
cum misericordia.

Lord Jesus Christ,
who created,
redeemed, and preordained
me to be this that I am,
you know what you wish to do with me;
do with me in accordance
with your will,
with mercy.

Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford conducted by Stephen Darlington

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