A piano and organ duet arranged for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) from the United Methodist Church Hymnal #526. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. This duet is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
"Star of the County Down" is an old Irish ballad set near Banbridge in County Down, in Northern Ireland. The tune is a pentatonic melody, similar to that of several other works, including the almost identical English tune "Kingsfold", well known from several popular hymns, such as "Led By the Spirit". The folk tune was the basis for Ralph Vaughan Williams' Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus. The melody was also used in an old Irish folk song called "My Love Nell". The lyrics of "My Love Nell" tell the story of young man who courts a girl but loses her when she emigrates to America. The only real similarity with "Star of the County Down" is that Nell too comes from County Down. This may have inspired McGarvey to place the heroine of his new song in Down as well (McGarvey was from Donegal). "The Star of the County Down" uses a tight rhyme scheme. Each stanza is a double quatrain, and the first and third lines of each quatrain have an internal rhyme on the second and fourth feet: [aa]b[cc]b. The refrain is a single quatrain with the same rhyming pattern. The song is sung from the point of view of a young man who chances to meet a charming lady by the name of Rose (or Rosie) McCann, referred to as the "star of the County Down". From a brief encounter the writer's infatuation grows until, by the end of the ballad, he imagines wedding the girl. Although this piece was originally written for traditional folk instruments, I arranged it for Flute and Celtic or Concert (Pedal) Harp
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809 – 1847), born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn was a true Renaissance man. A talented visual artist, he was a refined connoisseur of literature and philosophy. While Mendelssohn's name rarely arises in discussions of the nineteenth century vanguard, the intrinsic importance of his music is undeniable. A distinct personality emerges at once in its exceptional formal sophistication, its singular melodic sense, and its colorful, masterful deployment of the instrumental forces at hand. A true apotheosis of life, Mendelssohn's music absolutely overflows with energy, ebullience, drama, and invention, as evidenced in his most enduring works: the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream (1826-1842); the Hebrides Overture (1830); the Songs Without Words (1830-1845); the Symphonies No. 3 (1841-1842) and No. 4 (1833); and the Violin Concerto in E minor (1844). While the sunny disposition of so many of Mendelssohn's works has led some to view the composer as possessing great talent but little depth, his religious compositions -- particularly the great oratorios Paulus (1836) and Elijah (1846) -- reflect the complexity and deeply spiritual basis of his personality. In December 1832 and January 1833, Mendelssohn wrote a pair of works for a trio of clarinet, piano, and the now nearly arcane basset horn: the Concert Piece No. 1 in F major, Op. 113, and the Concert Piece No. 2 in D minor, Op. 114. Mendelssohn dispatched these two works immediately upon completion to clarinetist Heinrich Baermann and his son Carl, a basset horn player, who were touring Germany and Russia at the time. As tokens of the composer's personal friendship with the Baermanns (and his desire to help young Carl establish his career as a professional composer), the two Concert Pieces stand as the only compositions for basset horn in Mendelssohn's oeuvre. The piece under consideration here, the first in Op. 113, is cast in three brief movements. The first, marked Allegro con fuoco, begins and ends with dramatic recitative-like exchanges between the clarinet and basset horn, establishing a vocally oriented approach to melody. The alternately turbulent and triumphant middle section demonstrates Mendelssohn's characteristic knack for creating textural interplay between monodic instrumental lines and piano accompaniment. The Andante middle movement finds the two woodwinds more closely allied, following tranquil melodies in lush, parallel thirds and sixths above a gentle pitter-patter of piano arpeggios. The pensive minor-mode stirrings that open the final movement cast a temporary shadow over the tranquil glow of the slow movement's final strains, but after a few uneasy recitative exchanges and a chromatic buildup, the clouds part for a playful Presto. The woodwinds assume a more extrovert, sometimes even playfully competitive character here, tossing rapid figurations and scales back and forth, facing off with breakneck runs in contrary motion -- one imagines the seasoned performer Heinrich Baermann and the young up-and-comer Carl bringing this piece to a rousing close. Although originally created for Bb Clarinet, Basset Horn and Piano, I created this arrangement for Bb Clarinets (2) and Piano.
Violin(2), Guitar, Cello
"Riu, Riu, Chiu" is a 16th Century Spanish villancico by an anonymous composer. The villancico is attributed by some sources to Mateo Flecha the Elder, who died in 1553. The villancico is verse, set to popular dance rhythms, depicting pastoral Nativity scenes with a country flavor (animals and shepherds). It was written in so-called villancico style, which became a popular form for songs in post-Renaissance Spain. Such songs are in ternary form, with a text expressing some aspect of Christian principles or beliefs. "Riu, Riu, Chiu" became one of the more widely known such works in its time. The author of this carol is generally thought to be anonymous, but its text, possibly originally written in Portuguese, has been attributed by some to Mateo Flecha (1481-1553). The melody to Riu, riu, chiu probably dates to the fifteenth century or earlier. The words in the title are vocalizations of the sounds made by a nightingale. The main theme is lively and rhythmic and has an instant appeal, lingering in the mind long after one or two hearings. It exudes folk-ish color. One hears a mixture of Renaissance-era elegance here with a sort of peasant-like festivity. Its text speaks of the roles of the Blessed Mother and the Redeemer. This piece was popularized by the Monkees when they performed it acapella for their TV Christmas special in 1967: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko94b3I0X0Y Although originally intended to be sung by a lone male voice, with the main choir singing the chorus, I created this arrangement for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Walking through the streets of Paris a hundred years ago, Erik Satie could not have looked more normal in his black bowler hat and tie. But Mr. Satie was dreaming of music no one had heard before – music like ancient chants and modern circus tunes rolled into one. A friend of poets, puppeteers, magicians, great painters like Picasso, and the Surrealists, Satie was at the center of a world where sense was nonsense, and the imagination ruled supreme. rik Satie's first great piano period dates back to his youth and his first time spent in Montmartre. During these years he wrote some 20 piano pieces, five songs, some sketches for string quartet, theatre music for Joséphin Péladan and a little orchestral piece, later re-used as the penultimate movement in Trois morceaux en forme de poire for piano duet. Among the first works by young Satie to be published were two salon-waltzes printed as supplements in his father's publication La musiques des familles on March 17th and July 28th of 1887. The first appended with the curious numbering "Opus 62" (!), and the second with the following introduction: "Today we publish a charming Fantaisie-valse for piano by Erik Satie. This work by a very young musician is elegant in structure and gracious in rhythm, without dryness. All the author's works, amongst which we will mention Three Melodies, indicate a propensity for reverie and a tendency to move away from the strict laws of symmetrical rhythm." The rather trivial, frequently-repeated phrases and the bassnotes around the basic chords are typical of the style of the simple salon music of the day. At the same time, it can be noted that Satie - conciously or not - managed to avoid the sentimentality to the style. Instead, both waltzes have traits of timeless simplicity. Perhaps, even, something of the starkness one usually associates with the Gymnopédies.
Violin(3), Viola, Cello, Contrabass, Harp
The "Danse Macabre" (Opus 40) was written as a tone poem for orchestra in 1874 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin. Normally heard as a symphonic performance, this piece is unusual as an arrangement for Harp and Strings however, I created this arrangement to emphasize macabre elements and uniquely dynamic range of the Concert (Pedal) Harp. I took liberal license in my interpretation of the original score, and as such, this arrangement is uniquely my "vision" of how this piece sounds to me. According to the ancient superstition, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death has the power to call forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (represented by strings on the Swell with its "E-string" tuned to an "E-flat" in an example of scordatura tuning). His skeletons dance for him until the first break of dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year. The intrepretation in Measure 25+ is of a solo violin playing the tritone (or "Devil's interval") consisting of an A and an E-flat—in an example of scordatura tuning, the violinist's E string has actually been tuned down to an E-flat to create the dissonant tritone. Starting at Measure 173, is a melodic quote of the "Dies irae", a Gregorian chant from the Requiem Mass that is melodically related to the work's second theme. The Dies irae is presented in a major key, which is unusual. The abrupt break in the texture at measure 456 represents the dawn breaking (a cockerel's crow, played on the melody) and the skeletons returning to their graves. Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre) and other sources. I created this arrangement from the orchestral work for Concert (Pedal) Harp & Strings (Violins, Violas, Cellos & Basses).
Giovanni Battista Martini (1706 – 1784), also known as Padre Martini, was an Italian musician. Grandly and misleadingly called "one of the most famous figures in eighteenth century music" by over-specialized musicologists, Giovanni Battista Martini was an important personality in the narrow confines of Italian music and counterpoint pedagogy. Described as both affable and arrogant, Martini was a supportive and much sought-after teacher; his students included the young Mozart and J.C. Bach. Martini enjoyed substantial early musical training, but at age 15 he decided he wanted to become a monk and was sent to a monastery. This residency lasted about a year; in late 1722 he returned to his native Bologna to become an organist at the church of St. Francesco. In 1725 he became that church's maestro di cappella, a position he would hold until near the end of his long life. He was ordained a priest in 1729. Padre Martini's first published works appeared in 1734, a collection called Litaniae atque antiphonae finales Beatae Virginis Mariae; after this liturgical beginning, Martini would eventually publish three collections of secular music. Among his honors were election to the Academy of the Bologna Institute of Science in 1758, the Bologna Philharmonic Academy (in the same year), and the Arcadian Academy in Rome in 1776. He was offered jobs at the Vatican and perhaps in Padua, but Martini preferred his employment in Bologna; indeed, his trips out of town were few and far between. He was a hard worker and easily likable, inspiring great affection in personalities as different as Mozart and Charles Burney. Yet he was also in many respects an adamant musical reactionary, resisting French innovations in music theory and the progressive tendencies of even his fellow-countryman Tartini (with whom he nonetheless remained on cordial terms). His fees from teaching counterpoint and singing enabled him to amass a huge personal music library (perhaps 17,000 volumes by 1770), as well as a collection of 300 portraits of musicians; eventually, getting one's portrait into Martini's hands was equivalent to a modern Hollywood celebrity having "arrived" by getting a set of footprints onto the Walk of Fame. Martini wrote extensively on ancient Greek music and plainchant (which he considered to be a particularly expressive form of music), and published a volume of excerpts for the teaching of advanced counterpoint. His own music, however, was largely homophonic, skewed to high voices. A major exception to this tendency was his 1742 Sonate d'intavolatura, which employed a rich counterpoint suggesting a familiarity with Bach. Although originally written for Viol a de Gamba and Continuo, I created this arrangement for Violin & Viola.
The Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 (300i), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a piano sonata in three movements. It is uncertain where and when Mozart composed the sonata; however, Vienna or Salzburg around 1783 is currently thought to be most likely (Paris and dates as far back as 1778 have also been suggested). The last movement, "Alla Turca", popularly known as the "Turkish March", is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces; it was Mozart himself who titled the rondo "Alla Turca". It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, the music of which was much in vogue at that time. Various other works of the time imitate this Turkish style, including Mozart's own opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In Mozart's time, the last movement was sometimes performed on pianos built with a "Turkish stop", allowing it to be embellished with extra percussion effects. Although originally written for Piano, I created this Arrangement for my friend and Pastor Julian J. Champion of the West Point School of Music located in Chicago IL. It has a single purpose for making music accessable to inner-city and disadvantaged youth. They are a struggling organization with a wonderful purpose. This arrangement is created for Steel Orchestra (Lead Pan, Double Lead, Alto Pan, Cello Pan & Bass Pan) Steel Drums and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
Voice, Trumpet(2), French Horn(2), Flute(2), Clarinet(2), Bassoon, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tuba
All credit for writing "The Trumpet Shall Sound" goes to my friend, Mike Magatagan [GO CHECK HIS ACCOUNT OUT! musescore.com/mike_magatagan]. I arranged the pitch and the Intro [Behold, I Shew You A Mysery].
Alessandro Marcello (1669 - 1747) was an Italian nobleman, poet, philosopher, mathematician and musician. A contemporary of Tomaso Albinoni, Marcello was the son of a senator in Venice. As such, he enjoyed a comfortable life that gave him the scope to pursue his interest in music. He held concerts in his hometown and also composed and published several sets of concertos, including six concertos under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonets, and violin sonatas. Marcello, being a slightly older contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi, often composed under the pseudonym Eterio Stinfalico, his name as a member of the celebrated Arcadian Academy (Pontificia Accademia degli Arcadi). He died in Padua in 1747. The Concerto for Oboe and Strings in D minor by Alessandro Marcello is one of the most performed oboe concertos in the repertory. It was written in the early 18th century and has become Marcello's most famous work. In the past, and continuing to the present, it has been mistakenly attributed to both Alessandro Marcello's brother Benedetto Marcello and to Antonio Vivaldi. Johann Sebastian Bach made the piece famous by writing a transcription of the piece in C minor for harpsichord (BWV 974). I took creative license with this piece and adapted the Adagio (movement II) for Viola & Concert (Pedal) Harp.
"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen", also known as "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", is an English traditional Christmas carol. The melody is in the minor mode. It was published by William B. Sandys in 1833, although the author is unknown. Like so many early Christmas songs, the carol was written as a direct reaction to the church music of the 15th century. However, in the earliest known publication of the carol, on a c. 1760 broadsheet, it is described as a "new Christmas carol", suggesting its origin is actually in the mid-18th century. It appeared again among "new carols for Christmas" in another 18th century source, a chapbook believed to be printed between 1780 and 1800. It is referred to in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, 1843: "...at the first sound of — 'God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!'— Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost." I created this arrangement for Saxophone Quartet (Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone) as a variation on a simple theme. I encourage others to elaborate on this theme as well and freely post copies of your variations! This piece is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
I created this quick and simple arrangement of the "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" (UMH Hymnal # 89) for English Handbells to support an introit at the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC). "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" is a poem written by Henry van Dyke in 1907 with the intention of musically setting it to the famous "Ode to Joy" melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's final symphony, Symphony No. 9. Van Dyke wrote this poem in 1907 while staying at the home of Williams College president Harry Augustus Garfield. He was serving as a guest preacher at Williams at the time. He told his host that the local Berkshire Mountains had been his inspiration. The lyrics were first published in 1911 in Van Dyke's Book of Poems, Third Edition. This piece is best played using the "HandBells.sf2" Soundfont by FMJ Software (http://www.fmjsoft.com/siframe.html).
Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello
Very little evidence survives about medieval dance except what can be gleaned from paintings and works of literature from this time period. Some names of the dances which we know existed during the Middle Ages. Usually attached to the spirited skipping dance known as a "saltarello," the trotto is a Medieval dance that existed in many European countries. A particularly lively and fascinating trotto, often performed by instrumental groups dedicated to authentic historical reconstruction, comes from fourteenth-century manuscripts. The tune is joyfully infused with the triple meter swing of the type of music that depicts horse riding and the fox hunt ("trotto" is Italian for the verb "to trot"). The melody is in a pure Aeolian (minor) mode, usually played here on the tonic of C. The dancers must have had a wonderful time keeping up with all the asymmetrical rhythmical surprises and turn-arounds producing a feeling of floating "over the beat." Although originally written for period instruments & percussion I created this arrangement for Flute and Strings (Violin, Viola & Cello).
"The Skye Boat Song" is a Scottish folk song, which can also be played as a waltz, recalling the escape of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) from Uist to the Isle of Skye after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The song tells how Charles escaped in a small boat, with the aid of Flora MacDonald, disguised as a serving maid. The song is a traditional expression of Jacobitism and its story has also entered Scotland as a national legend. The song was not in any older books of Scottish songs, though it is in most miscellanies like The Fireside Book of Folk Songs. It is often sung as a lullaby, in a slow rocking 6/8 time. In addition to being extremely popular in its day, and becoming a standard among Scottish folk and dance musicians, it has become more widely known in the modern mainstream popular music genre. Although originally written for folk instruments, I created this arrangement at the request of Belgian flautist, Jenne Van Antwerpen for Concert (Pedal) Harp and Flutes (2).
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Piano
"Judas Maccabaeus" (HWV 63) is an oratorio in three acts composed in 1746 by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto written by Thomas Morell. The oratorio was devised as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland upon his return from the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746). Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG xxii; and HHA 1/24. Morell's libretto is based on the deuterocanonical 1 Maccabees (2-8), with motives added from the Antiquitates Judaicae by Flavius Josephus. The events depicted in the oratorio are from the period 170-160 BC when Judea was ruled by the Seleucid Empire which undertook to destroy the Jewish religion. Being ordered to worship Zeus, many Jews obeyed under the threat of persecution, however some did not. One who defied was the elderly priest Mattathias who killed a fellow Jew who was about to offer a pagan sacrifice. After tearing down a pagan altar, Mattathias retreated to the hills and gathered others who were willing to fight for their faith. "Hallelujah, Amen" is from ACT III depicting Victory that has finally been achieved for the Jewish people. News arrives that Rome is willing to form an alliance with Judas against the Seleucid empire. The people rejoice that peace has at last come to their country (O lovely peace). Although originally written for Opera, I created this arrangement for Acoustic Piano & String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
No, it is not only Bach/Gounod when hearing the Ave Maria: Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), too, set this text to music several times - for example, for organ (without pedal) and two identical voices. The organ is sometimes replaced replaced by a piano (and here, the Harp), the vocal parts can be sung by two sopranos, soprano and mezzo-soprano, or soprano and alto. If the performers are good, one may even consider a performance of this sacred composition in groups. Now available in an attractiv single edition, this setting is valuable addition to the repertoire and impressive alternative to the common Ave settings This arrangement is created for Concert (Pedal) Harp and Voice Duet (Soprano & Alto) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
Percussion(2), French Horn, Piano
"Silver Bells" is a classic Christmas song, composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. It was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid, filmed in July–August 1950 and released in March 1951. The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards, released by Decca Records in October 1950. After the Crosby and Richards recording became popular, Hope and Maxwell were called back in late 1950 to refilm a more elaborate production of the song. "Silver Bells" started out as the questionable "Tinkle Bells." Said Ray Evans, "We never thought that tinkle had a double meaning until Jay went home and his first wife said, 'Are you out of your mind? Do you know what the word tinkle is?'" This song's inspiration has conflicting reports. Several periodicals and interviews cite the writer Jay Livingston stating that the song inspiration came from by the bells used by Santa Clauses and Salvation Army people on New York City street corners. However, an interview with co-writer Ray Evans to NPR said that the song was inspired by a bell that sat on Ray and Jay's shared office desk. In the original version the lyrics were "Hear the snow crunch, see the kids bunch, this is Santa's big day" but was later changed to "Here the snow crunch, see the kids bunch, this is Santa's big scene". I created this unusual arrangement to a friend & Music Teacher for an upcoming performance utilizing students with English Handbells, French Horn & Piano.
Bonaventura Somma (1893 - 1960) was an Itallian composer born in the town of Chianciano Terme, a small town located in the province of Siena , July 30, 1893. As a teenager, he attended the Conservatory of Rome , where he was a student of various modern composers such as Ottorino Respighi. After completing his studies, he was for many years a professor at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome and directed, in Rome, the Choir of the ' Accademia di Santa Cecilia , collaborating with the most important conductors and composers of his era ( Karajan , Toscanini , Perosi , etc..). The Hail Mary, also commonly called the Ave Maria (Latin) or Angelic Salutation, is a traditional Christian prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholicism, the prayer forms the basis of the Rosary and the Angelus prayers. In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar prayer is used in formal liturgies, both in Greek and in translations. It is also used by many other groups within the Catholic tradition of Christianity including Anglicans, Independent Catholics, and Old Catholics. Some Protestant denominations, such as Lutherans, also make use of a form of the prayer. Based on the greeting of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary in the Gospel of Luke, the prayer takes different forms in various traditions. It has often been set to music, although the most famous musical expression of the words Ave Maria by Schubert does not actually contain the Hail Mary prayer. Although originally created for chorus and Organ, I created this arrangement for Solo Acoustic Piano and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).