Fantasia on ‘Es ist ein Ros entsprungen’:

Arranged by Ron Babcock

four trombones

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2014

score and parts


Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming) is a traditional Christmas carol and Marian Hymn of German origin. The prophecy of Isaiah and the purity of Mary portrayed as a rose are reflected in this quiet, thoughtful carol. The composer is unknown but the carol dates back to the 15th century, if not earlier. Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) harmonized it in his published collection Musae Sioniae from 1609. Ron Babcock teaches at the School of Music at Portland State University and is a specialist in early trombone literature.

Babcock’s skillful arrangement opens with the third and bass trombones playing an 18-measure drone, with staggered breathing, as the first trombone plays the melody of the carol. There are modulations from F to B-flat and then C, before returning to B-flat at the end of the work.

This arrangement for trombone quartet incorporates a nice variety of textures, dynamics, keys, and counterpoint. Ranges are moderate, from BB-flat in the bass trombone to b-flat1 in the first trombone part. This arrangement could be played by a good high school quartet if they are comfortable with the tenor clef used in the first and second trombone parts. It is a nice addition to the trombone quartet repertoire.


Reviewer: David Manson
Review Published January 31, 2019