March 18, 2022—Composer and conductor John Rutter has composed A Ukrainian Prayer, a setting for a cappella choir of an anonymous Ukrainian prayer. John says: “How can a composer respond to a global tragedy? By writing music is the most obvious thing. Like everybody, I’ve been shocked and dismayed by the events of recent days, and the first thing I wanted to do was write some music that would respond in my own way.
“I went to a late night service in my old college chapel, where they sang a setting of a lovely Ukrainian prayer. So, having encountered the text in another musical setting on Wednesday night, on Thursday, I wrote my own music. I hope the meaning of the text will resonate in people’s hearts.
“I had the opportunity to put it together at very short notice with a wonderful group of 300 people at a workshop I was leading at a church in Wandsworth, London. I hope the music speaks with my own voice, but in terms that reach out to the Ukrainian people in their hour of need.”
A literal translation of the text of the new choral setting is: “Good Lord, protect Ukraine. Give us strength, faith, hope, our Father. Amen.” The score for A Ukrainian Prayer is available free of charge, on request, with a suggestion that you may like to make a donation to the Disaster Emergency Fund.
A YouTube video for A Ukrainian Prayer, filmed at St Mary Magdalene Church in Wandsworth (London, UK) is available at the link above.