Christopher Robinson has enjoyed a distinguished career in the service of the Anglican church, holding positions at Worcester Cathedral, St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and, until his retirement in 2003, St John’s College, Cambridge. Jesu, grant me this, I pray
was written in memory of John Porter, Assistant Organist at Windsor; it was composed some months after Porter’s tragically early death in 1985. The text, a translation by Sir Henry Williams Baker of a seventeenth-century Latin text, was originally published in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern
(1861), edited by Baker. The words are frequently sung to Orlando Gibbons’s Song 13. Robinson’s version makes no explicit reference to this melody, though it retains the essentially strophic (and homophonic) approach one might expect of a hymn-based anthem. That said, stanzas flow easily one into the next, with the transitions eased by Robinson’s characteristically sensitive harmonies and by a series of variants of the three-note motif announced by the trebles at the very start of the anthem.
from notes by Martin Ennis © 2018