Maurice Green (1696 – 1755): Lord, let me know mine end

Green was an important composer in his day his music was "generally buoyant and attractively tuneful, is thus more elegant and polished than that of almost all his immediate predecessors and contemporaries" perhaps because he wrote in a more cosmopolitan style than they did. His modern reputation has suffered mostly because Burney took against him. In a way Burney’s hostility is understandable there was good music being composed in England at the time but not much of it was being composed by native Englishmen and English church music was generally speaking a bad joke, but his condemnation of Green’s music seems to have had a personal animus motivated by guilt by association. Lord, let me know mine end takes its text from Psalm 39 and is notable first for the way in which Green uses the ostinato bass to produce a sense of inevitability and secondly for it’s really rather beautiful treble duet. Enjoy :-).


Maurice Green (1696 – 1755): Lord, let me know mine end

5  Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days:
  that I may be certified how long I have to live.
6  Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long:
  and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee;
  and verily every man living is altogether vanity.
7  For man walketh in a vain shadow,
  and disquieteth himself in vain:
  he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
8  And now, Lord, what is my hope:
  truly my hope is even in thee.
13  Hear my prayer, O Lord,
  and with thine ears consider my calling:
  hold not thy peace at my tears.
15  O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength:
  before I go hence, and be no more seen.

Christ Church Cathedral Choir conducted by Stephen Darlington

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