Giuseppi Verdi
Pater noster:

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

Five trombones

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2015

Score and parts


After completing his monumental Requiem in 1873, Giuseppe Verdi took a break from writing music for a few years. He returned from hiatus in 1880 by composing a relatively obscure five part choral work called Pater noster. Despite the Latin title, its text was set in Italian. Some musicologists have speculated that Verdi’s language choice displays strong nationalist motivations in this work. Otherwise, Pater noster is a typical yet beautiful piece of sacred choral music, which Ralph Sauer has skillfully transcribed.

Except for a few performance considerations, Sauer’s version exactly follows the original. Aside from its use of chromatic harmony, the contrapuntal style of Pater noster harkens back to that of Palestrina with its smooth, slow moving lines and careful treatment of dissonance. With lots of exposed passages and a first part that ascends to c-sharp² on sustained tones with few rests, Sauer’s transcription presents many intonation and endurance challenges that are probably best suited to more experienced trombone choirs.

As we have come to expect from Cherry Classics, score and parts are well edited and comfortably spaced for legibility, clarity, and efficient paper usage. Ralph Sauer’s versions of these great works have in many ways become the gold standard for low brass transcriptions, and his version of Verdi’s Pater noster is no exception. It will surely find its way into many fine trombone choir performances.


Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published January 31, 2019