Although Brahms had at one point explored the possibility of a career as an organist, he ultimately wrote little for the instrument, choosing to focus for the most part on vocal, chamber and symphonic music. However, possibly sensing his own imminent death, he did return to the instrument in 1896 for his final work: the Eleven Chorale Preludes, Op. 122, of which this is one.

In this setting of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (A rose has sprung up) the chorale melody is quite artfully disguised. It is in the top voice, but is concealed by an array of passing notes, with the melody notes sometimes appearing on syncopated beats. The prelude has a gentle devotional air, and organists usually shift between manuals for different phrases of the chorale, creating a variety of soft sonorities. This arrangement attempts to do the same, using different mutes to make the contrasts.

Parts included:

  • Score
  • Trumpet in E-flat
  • Trumpet 1 in B-flat
  • Trumpet 2 in B-flat
  • Trombone 1
  • Trombone 2
  • Trombone 3 (Bass)
  • Tuba

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