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This new Fullscore choral edition of the partsong/hymn In Heavenly Love Abiding has the original words written in 1850 by Anna Letitia Waring, but it is (unusually) set to a well-known choral tune by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Originally written for his partsong Abschied com Walde (Farewell to the forest), the tune is a fine marriage for Waring’s lovely words. Two versions are included in the single Fullscore edition pdf: A four-part arrangement for SATB, plus a hymn-style layout using one stave for all four voices (which may act as a piano reduction for rehearsal of a capella performances; the latter has no dynamics included).  

 

Listen to the original tune - with the German words from Abschied vom Walde:

Exquisitely sung by the Dresdner Kammerchor, as a distanced chamber piece: https://youtu.be/tmhaQ8FDqI0

Or sung in a very stately, elegant manner by the massed ranks of Munich University Choir:

YouTubehttps://youtu.be/adYMc58v7bw

 

Verse 3 (Green pastures are before me...), with the words by Waring, is sung by Porlock Consort and included in the promotional video on YouTube for the new Porlock Pilgrim's Trail in north Somerset, England. [A direct URL link to this video will be added here at a later date.]

 

Lyrics:

In heav’nly love abiding,

No change my heart shall fear;

and safe is such confiding,

For nothing changes here.

The storm may roar without me,

My heart may low be laid,

But God is round about me,

And can I be dismayed?

 
Wherever He may guide me,

No want shall turn me back;

My Shepherd is beside me,

And nothing shall I lack.

His wisdom ever waketh,

His sight is never dim;

He knows the way He taketh,

And I will walk with Him.

 
Green pastures are before me,

Which yet I have not seen;

Bright skies will soon be o’er me,

Where darkest clouds have been.

My hope I cannot measure,

My path to life is free;

My Saviour is my treasure,

And He will walk with me.

 

This hymn has been described as a ‘beautiful variation’ on the 23rd psalm. Anna Laetitia Waring (1823-1910) was a Quaker who became a member of the Church of England, and whose particular concern was the welfare and rehabilitation of prisoners. She learned Hebrew in order to be able to read the Old Testament in the original. She published a number of books of her own hymns as well as writings on moral and religious themes. Julian’s Dictionary of Hymnology noted that her hymns were ‘marked by great simplicity, concentration of thought, and elegance of diction’. 

 

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (widely known as Felix Mendelssohn) died, aged just 38, in November 1847. He was an early Romantic German composer, pianist, organist and conductor. HIs significant compositional output include symphonies, concertos, piano music, organ music and chamber music. Some of his best-known works include the Wedding March from the incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, Songs Without Words for piano, the oratorios St. Paul and Elijah, and the melody for the Christmas carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

 

Cover photo:

The bucolic setting for the beautiful St Beuno's Church on the sheet music cover is Culbone in North Somerset. It is part of the Porlock Pilgrim’s trail, for which this arrangement with new words was made. Details may be found at www.porlockpilgrim.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Mendelssohn/Waring ~ In Heavenly Love Abiding

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  • 4 pages (5 inc. cover).

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