Johann Sebastian Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring: for brass quintet

Arranged by John Anthony Lennon

N.p., ,
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2011


This isn’t a simple transcription, rather an imaginative re-creation of the piece for brass ensemble. It is cast in B-flat (original key G) and is of intermediate difficulty. The chorale melody is abbreviated; the whole is condensed to 56 measures from the original 71. Some rhythms have been changed and harmonies altered. Both the expanded obbligato part played by 1st and 2nd trumpets and ‘notes inégal’ in accompaniment figures are written as triplets in ¾ meter. Purists may object to some of the alterations but it is an interesting and well laid-out arrangement, which I find to be surprisingly effective. Only the tuba has any full measure rests; other parts are fully occupied. Range for trombone is F-f1, 1st trumpet tops out at b-flat2 concert. Dr. Lennon is Professor of Composition at Emory University in Atlanta.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published January 31, 2019