Johann Sebastian Bach
Now Vengeance Hath Been Taken: Chorale No.64 from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248

Arranged by Matthew McCrady

Brass quintet: piccolo trumpet in A, trumpet in D, horn in F, trombone, tuba

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2011 / 2020

Score and parts

Primary Genre: Brass Ensemble - 5 brass

Originally written for choir, organ, and orchestra, this quintet version does not entirely cover all of the original music; however, tonality, and melodic and harmonic integrity are maintained. Furthermore, there are measures omitted from the original, yet the result does not detract from the majesty of the original or this edition. It will be helpful to listen to a recording or view the original score to become familiar with when your part is portraying orchestra, organ, or voice.

The arranger is one of the trumpeters in the Pinnacle Brass, for whom this was written and recorded on their 2011 CD, “The Earth Shall Ring.” A sample recording is available on the  Cherry Classic Music website. Instrumentation could be an issue – piccolo trumpet in A and trumpet in D. The piccolo part is tough, requiring a mature or professional player to achieve Bach’s elegance. It will be helpful if the tuba player uses a CC tuba – there are many B-naturals at cadences. The trombone part is the most accessible with no discernible issues of range, technique, or rhythm. Horn is also accessible, scored most of the time in the staff. Articulation and dynamic markings are appropriate and easy to follow. Rests in each part allow for that needed “catch a breath” moment. This is an excellent work for a mature ensemble to use in a church service, concert, or recital.

Reviewer: David Stern
Review Published June 23, 2023