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 and performed by the cornet section of the Band of the Welsh Guards, before being also 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 performers:
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 all brass musicians!