World's Largest Sheet Music Selection


Grafenburg Variations

By Dan Forrest

Be the first! Write a Review

Concert band (Piccolo, Flute 1, Flute 2, Oboe 1, Oboe 2, Bassoon 1, Bassoon 2, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2, Bb Clarinet 3, Bb Bass Clarinet, Eb Contralto Clarinet, Eb Alto Saxophone 1, Eb Alto Saxophone 2, Bb Tenor Saxophone, Eb Baritone Saxophone, Bb Trumpet 1, Bb Tr) - grade 4
Composed by Dan Forrest. Band Music. Score and parts. Duration 8:20. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.15700).

Item Number: CN.15700

This theme and variations on the hymn tune 'Grafenburg' takes the listener on a journey through many styles and moods, including a vigorous barn dance, a dreamy lullaby, a blustering sea chanty and triumphant fanfares. Well-known for his choral works, Forrest shows off his mastery of thr wind band idiom.

The wonderful hymntune GRAFENBURG (by Johann Cruger, published in 1647) provides all of the thematic material for this set of variations. Each variation features some fragment or aspect of the original hymntune in a unique context. The variations are through-composed, yet divided into three main sections. The first section includes an introduction, a clear statement of the hymntune, a vigorous 'barn dance,' and a triumphant proclamation, before transitioning to the middle section. The middle section contains a dream and a lullaby, and includes a full statement of the theme, to keep it in the listener's ear. The third section begins with a rude awakening from interrupting trumpets, which then give way to a blustering sea chanty in 6/8. Another variation then deconstructs the tune's tonality, pulling it farther and farther away from its moorings. Before it can completely unravel, however, the full theme emerges as an 'organ-pedal' tune, in augmentation. Triumph then gives way to rejoicing, as the 'barn dance' returns and sweeps the listener along to the end. GRAFENBURG is often sung with the hymntext, 'Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs,' by Isaac Watts. The entire set of variations, then, should be thought of as a collection of 'cheerful songs,' each drawing its character from the original, traveling farther and farther afield from the original, but then all returning to join in their merry dance together.

Close X

I am a music teacher.