Gwyneth Walker

Review of "Give Over Thine Own Willing" (1997) for SATB Chorus

by Jerry F. Davidson, PhD., The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

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Read notes for Give Over Thine Own Willing (1997) for SATB chorus

While the majority of the octavos I receive are for SATB choirs, there are very, very few that merit mentioning. As I look at dozens and dozens of choral pieces it seems that most are familar texts set to concotions of parallel seventh chords with 9-8 suspension cadences. Here are a few (in random order) that seem to rise above the masses. Even though all of these works are written in conventional -- yea, even conservative -- styles there is musical nutrition here. ...

My eye caught Gwyneth Walker's setting of a text adapted by Paul Lacey from the writings of Isaac Pennington, "Give over thine own willing." The text is unusual and rather nice: Give over thine own willing. Give over thine own running thy desiring to be or know anything. And sink down to the seed which God sows in thy heart and let it be and grow and breathe and act in thee. This is followed by a quotation from the familiar hymn, "Take my life, and let it be," by Frances Ridley Havergal, who is given no credit. The intention is that the piece by sung unaccompanied, but there is a keyboard reduction for rehearsal. The use of quasi-chanted sections gives an interesting texture to this work. Again, it is for an SATB choir with four soloists. It is published by E.C. Schirmer as 5252, no price is given.

From The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians