This is a meditative arrangement of a well known Norwegian hymn. The arrangement sets three verses of the melody ‘bookended’ by a mirrored introduction and coda. It was originally written for trumpet sextet and performed by the cornet section of the Band of the Welsh Guards, before being expanded to military (wind) and brass band formats.
In the hymn, one sings of a hopeful final journey to a place without worry or sorrow. The arrangement reflects the mood of these three verses, with increaing tension and movement through ascending lines as the journey progresses towards a final resting place. The hymn is regularly used at funerals and memorial services.
The text was originally old German and translated to Norwegian by Bernt Støyland in 1905. Translated to English, the text reads as:
I know a castle in heaven above,
shining as bright as the sun;
you’ll find no sin nor sorrow there,
and never a tear is shed.
I am a weary traveller;
may my path lead me
from here to my Father’s land;
God, bless me on my way.
We thank you for eternity
God the Father, one in three.
For you are gentle and mild to us
in Jesus Christ! Amen.
Note to conductors:
The opening and closing sections require precision in the start and release of notes for the chord progression to function. Attention to detail should be paid to each individual crescendi, diminuendi and articulation. This is excellent training for even the best of bands!
An optional vocal part is provided in both Norwegian and English, but the arrangement functions with or without it.
Cues are written for important lines should players be missing, otherwise many of the parts are doubled across the band. Therefore this arrangement should be playable by bands from approximately 2nd/3rd division upwards even if some players are missing.
Copyright © Nick Walkley 2016 All rights reserved