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Anonymous Verbum caro factum est (for Flexible Brass Quartet)

Something ancient and Christmassy,

here in its version for brass...







This arrangement is of another arrangement by an anonymous figure from the 16th Century. The four part setting of the Gregorian chant of the same name can be found in the Cancionero de Upsala [sic], a volume of Spanish music printed in Venice in 1556. The only original copy is kept at the Uppsala University Library, hence the name.


The version from the Cancionero uses, as the basis of its refrain, the Latin phrase 'Verbum caro factum est' (from The New Testament,  John 1:14). Interspersed are verses in Spanish, one as though sung by the Virgin Mary to her newborn child, another as a response to her question and a challenge to the listener which might be interpreted as a call to charity over the Christmas period.


Instrumentation:

Flute,: Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, Bassoon

Cornet 1 in Bb, Cornet 2 in Bb, Tenor Horn in Eb, Baritone Horn in Bb


Alternatives…

If a flexible arrangements is required, trumpets can read from the cornet parts; euphoniums, Bb trombones and even Bb basses can read from the baritone part. The tenor horn part is also given in a Bb version for cornet/flugelhorn and a version for Horn in F; the baritone is given in a version for Eb bass and one for trombone reading bass clef. Merry Christmas…

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