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Vernal Sequences No. 1

Vernal Sequences No. 1

Green, Michael C.


  • Ensemble: Brass Quartet
  • Genre: Easter
  • Grade: 4
  • Duration: 5.0 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS651

"Vernal Sequences (for Easter & other occasions)" references and explores three melodies now associated with the Christian tradition:
The first is a pre-Civil War African-American spiritual now known as "Were You There?", however the melody is of uncertain origin. In Vernal Sequences this melody has been both concealed and revealed, and it features the emotional drama of its words "Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble" with ensemble passages at full volume.

Next, a 16th Century French chanson Nol Nouvelet, known in its Easter version as "Now The Green Blade Riseth" (and in its Nativity version as "Now We Sing Of Christmas"), is introduced with cantor-like statements by the 1st trombone (or horn), and then continues calmly with a murmuring muted background supporting and echoing the haunting melody played by the trombones.

The piece concludes with a short, surprise-filled reference to a melody which began as a German secular song until the 17th Century when Joachim Neander used it to create the hymn Lobe den Herren (later known as "Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty"), now a perennial favorite.

Vernal Sequences written for an Easter service is also suitable for recitals or worship services at any time throughout the year due to the appealingly mysterious origins of the source melodies upon which it is based and the refreshing flexibility with which they are treated.

Trumpet 1 in Bb (C part included)
Trumpet 2 in Bb (C part included)
Trombone 1(Alternate horn part included)
Trombone 2

Nice rendition here by Festival Brass

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