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Take My Life & Let It Be...a


Ronald Bayfield
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I always find the Mozart tune to be too short to stand six repetitions of a 4-line verse. I noticed that the last bars bear a striking resemblance to the end of the tune "Maidstone" usually sung to "Pleasant are thy courts above" so now I play the even numbered verses to the last 16 bars of "Maidstone" suitably transposed. To prepare the congregation for the change I play the tune all through at the playover, and I have always found that they take to it like ducks to water.

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I always find the Mozart tune to be too short to stand six repetitions of a 4-line verse. I noticed that the last bars bear a striking resemblance to the end of the tune "Maidstone" usually sung to "Pleasant are thy courts above" so now I play the even numbered verses to the last 16 bars of "Maidstone" suitably transposed. To prepare the congregation for the change I play the tune all through at the playover, and I have always found that they take to it like ducks to water.

 

 

There is a fine setting of these words by the late Alan Rees OSB, a refrain for the congregation (which can be supported by 4-part choir) and then 4-part verses for choir only. It can be obtained by applying to Belmont Abbey, Hereford.

 

Peter

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It is worth mentioning that the tune usually sung to "Take my life" was formerly attributed to Mozart but is not actually by him. It comes from the, once very popular, "Twelfth Mass" where it is the main theme of the Kyrie.

 

Up until the 1970s St Bartholmoew's Brighton had a repertoire of two Mozart Masses, neither of which was actually by Mozart, although both were quite good settings, irrespectective of their composers. One was the so-called "Seventh Mass in B flat" published by Novello as an English Communion Service (and very nice it was, too) and the other was "Communion Service adapted from Mozart's Twelfth Mass by Edward Husband, Vicare-Designate of Holy Trinity Folkestone" although I don't think he ever took up that appointment. All copies of the latter seem to disappeared off the face of the earth, which from a collector's point of view is a pity.

 

In these more enlightened days St Bartholomew's does most of the Masses actually composed by Mozart (although KV140 in G is dubious) and they sing them in the language that the people in Heaven actually understand.

 

Malcolm

 

PS The 7th Mass in B flat is a quite different setting to KV 275 in that key.

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