The first modern edition from John Pixell's Odes, Cantatas, Songs &c, divine, moral, entertaining, op. 2, 1775.
John Pixell was vicar of St. Bartholomew’s in Edgbaston, Birmingham (now commonly known as Edgbaston Old Church) from 1750 to 1784. He was by all accounts a competent violinist, harpsichordist and possessed a fine tenor He produced two fine collections of songs published in Birmingham and subscribed to by gentry, musicians and music societies in the Midlands and further afield. Unusually for collections of this time, Pixell’s two books (A Collection of Songs, with their Recitatives and Symphonies, op.1, 1759, and Odes, Cantatas, Songs &c, divine, moral, entertaining, op.2) contain a wide variety of vocal music both sacred and secular. He uses earlier English models of pastoral cantatas and arias, often scored for a variety of instruments such as flute, horns, bassoon as well as strings. Notable are his settings of devotional texts: sacred music designed for domestic use, a genre rarely seen since the works of Henry Purcell and his contemporaries.
Joseph Addison’s paraphrase of Psalm 23 was first published in The Spectator, July 1713 and remained popular for the next one hundred years or so, being reprinted in anthologies throughout the eighteenth century. Pixell sets the first three of Addison’s verses. The fourth and final verse is reproduced below should this be desired for performance.
The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care;
His presence shall my wants supply:
And guard me with a watchful eye:
My noon-day walks he shall attend,
And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty Mountain pant;
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary wandering steps he leads:
Where peaceful rivers soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landskip flow.
Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill,
For thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me thro' the dreadful Shade.
Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds I stray,
Thy bounty shall my wants beguile:
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crown'd,
And streams shall murmur all around.
Listen to Pixell's Psalm 23 on YouTube.
Pixell - Psalm 23: 'The Lord my pasture shall prepare'. Digital Download.
Scoring: Soprano, 2 violins, optional viola, continuo (cello, harpsichord)
Contents: Full Score - 15 pages, 4 parts - 7 pages.
- Violin 1, Violino 2, optional Viola
- Basso Continuo
- Basso Continuo realisation and Voice
Total pages: 22
File size: 4.5 MB
Work duration: 6'30''
Catalogue number: CK0030