for mixed voices (SATB div) & piano
Text: English (Ben Dunwell, based on a prayer by St Padre Pio)
Stay with me, Lord was originally commissioned by the Genesis Foundation as one of three commissioned settings of Padre Pio’s Prayer after Communion, and first performed in June 2008 at Westminster Cathedral, London by The Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers. This version was arranged for the 2012 album The Call of Wisdom, an album of a selection of my choral music performed by Tenebrae and The English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Short. As well as altering much of the way the work is accompanied (not least scoring it for optional strings and harp as an alternative to piano), I have moved the chorus sections around, removing one completely, and made more use of changes of texture. The plainsong-like section (‘Let me perceive you...’) is a complete reworking of the equivalent section of the original, now for sopranos only and providing a moment of reflection and stillness. When performing Stay with me, Lord, a legato feeling should prevail over all of the work, and, alongside the detailed dynamic markings, the powerful text should act as a guide to the musical shape.
Recommended recording: The Call of Wisdom (Signum SIGCD298) by Tenebrae and The English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Short.
This work may be performed with string orchestra and harp accompaniment instead of piano. Full score and parts are available to purchase and download: Full score and parts / Full score only
The original version is available on sale here.
Stay with me, Lord, for you are my life, my strength and my faith, my passion and light.
Lord, stay lest I forget you, abandon you, fall in the dark.
O Lord, my soul is poor, but let it be a home for you.
Stay with me, Lord, that I may see your will.
Stay with me, O my Lord, that I may hear your voice.
Stay with me, that I may love you.
Stay with me, Lord, that I may be true.
Stay, Jesus, stay, for the day is late, and night comes quickly.
Judgement and death, eternity come; Lord, strengthen me.
I fear the dark, the Cross, the sorrows, Lord, temptation.
O Jesus, I need you to hold me in this night of exile.
I ask no comfort but your staying, your love, your will, your light, your spirit.
I ask no other consolation. I ask no other gift but love.
Let me perceive you as your disciples in the breaking of bread.
May your Eucharist be the breaking of the day, the joy of my heart.
Lord, end this night of exile, and at my death stay with me, if not in bread, in grace and love.
Words by Ben Dunwell, based on a prayer by
St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887–1968)
Will Todd is a UK-based performer and composer whose music spans a variety of styles and genres. Best known for his choral works, his 2003 jazz mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed more than eighty times since its premiere by choirs in the UK, Europe and the USA. Other notable works for choir range from large scale oratorios such as Saint Cuthbert (recorded by the Hallé Orchestra in 2002) to the anthem The Lord is my shepherd, available for both upper and mixed voices. He has worked on operas and stageworks for OperaGenesis at the Royal Opera House and the National Opera Studio, and his 2009 Jazz Concerto for Clarinet, written for Emma Johnson, has been performed in the UK, USA and Finland. As a performer, Will Todd leads his own Will Todd Trio from the piano and was recently an invited guest artist at the Lincoln Center in New York.