Review


Camile Saint-Säens
Veni Creator Spiritus :

Arranged by Jeff Reynolds

Four trombones

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2018
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

Score and parts

Genre: TROMBONE ENSEMBLES

Veni Creator Spiritus is a celebrated hymn possibly written by the Catholic Archbishop Rabanus Maurus (c. 780-856). It has been quoted and adapted by many composers through centuries, including Johann Sebastian Bach and Gustav Mahler. Saint-Säens used the chant as basis for a short composition for male choir. Mr. Reynold's arrangement of the work is simple, straightforward and effective.

The transcription for trombone ensemble fits naturally due to the range of the male voices, TTBB. Reynolds organizes them into three tenor trombone parts and one bass.  The first part is given in tenor clef and sits fairly comfortably in the high range, topping at a1. The middle voices are in a comfortable tessitura, and the bass trombone goes as low as F, with an extra low C on the last note. Nothing requires speed or complex techniques. The arranger is specific about articulation in order to match the text.

Wisely, Mr. Reynolds opted to open the piece with all voices playing the original chant in unison. It helps both listeners and performers understand Saint-Säens’ treatment of the material. The remainder of the piece is organized into five large sections; each new section is marked a bit faster, creating accelerando through the entire piece.

The arrangement is suitable for high school, community, and college level ensembles. The adaptation is clear and functional. Score and parts are well edited. The piece is a valuable contribution to the repertoire.

 

-Lucas Borges

Ohio University

 

 

Reviewer: Lucas Borges
Review Published January 21, 2019