Required Resources: Organ (or harpsichord), flute
Stephen McManus, a master of the keyboard/flute idiom from Northern Ireland, has given us a collection of four German Advent chorales, arranged for use together as a suite or individually at Mass.
The chorales in this collection are:
- Nun komm der Heiden Heiland Savior of the nations, come
- Gottes Sohn ist kommen God's Son came in blessing
also called Gott durch deine Güte God, by your goodness
- Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes Sohn Lord Christ, the only Son of God
- Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott Praise the all-powerful God
These are the four chorales that J.S. Bach set in the Advent portion of his grand liturgical volume, Orgelbüchlein, which contains chorale preludes for the Liturgical Year.
Stephen McManus has also written his Four Advent Chorales for Flute & Harpsichord or Organ in Baroque style.
The first piece places the unadorned chorale melody in the flute, accompanied by keyboard in two-part contrapuntal texture (expanding to three-parts at the cadence).
Modern hymnals have set this tune with the text, "Savior of the Nations, Come."
The next piece is a chorale fantasia, with hints of the chorale in the ornamented right hand part.
The texture is four-part, flute plus three-part keyboard.
Piece number three places the ornamented chorale in the flute line, with the accompaniment in two-part then three-part texture.
The last piece begins with phrases of the chorale melody tossed between flute and both hands of the accompaniment.
We know this tune today as Creator alme siderum ("Creator of the Starry Skies").
At the halfway point, it breaks into a fantasia section where the melody of No.1 (Nun komm der Heiden Heiland) returns in the flute part, before broadening into a characteristic Picardy third cadence.
Neither the flute nor the keyboard part is overly demanding, easily handled by a high school instrumentalist.
This collection will add a creative touch to the appropriate "subdued" music for the Advent season.
Order #: 6023