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Sleepers, Awake! (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme)

By Johann Sebastian Bach

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Concert band - Grade 4
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Arranged by Merlin Patterson. Suitable for high school, community, and college bands. Conductor score and set of parts. Duration 5:00. Published by Manhattan Beach Music (MH.1-59913-074-2).

Item Number: MH.1-59913-074-2
ISBN 1-59913-074-2.

Program Notes: Sleepers, Awake! is one of J.S. Bach's most exquisite works, both in its cantata and chorale-prelude versions, and although some may not recognize it by name (or have heard the originals), many are nevertheless familiar with its hauntingly beautiful melodies. Much of this present-day fame is the result of the LP recording made by Eugene Ormandy conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra. His orchestral version was for many record collectors their first hearing of the music. Today, this band version delivers anew the same gift to students and audiences, providing them firsthand experience of some of the greatest music ever composed. The Lutheran hymn-tune of Philipp Nicolai is central to Bach's two versions of Sleepers, Awake! , the first in 1731 in Cantata BWV 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," and the next in 1746 as the first chorale prelude for organ in the Schubler Chorales BWV 645-650. Bach's texture is three-part: a florid, motivic, upper voice; the hymn tune below it; and a firm, supportive bass. Bach's brilliant working out of these elements yields a work of compelling grandeur and power. Ensemble instrumentation: 8 Flute (one doubling Piccolo), 3 Oboe, 4 Bb Clarinet 1, 4 Bb Clarinet 2, 4 Bb Clarinet 3, 3 Bb Bass Clarinet & Bb Contrabass Clarinet, 3 Bassoon, 6 Eb Alto Saxophone 1-2, 2 Bb Tenor Saxophone, 2 Eb Baritone Saxophone, 3 Bb Trumpet 1, 6 Bb Trumpet 2-3, 2 F Horn 1-2, 2 F Horn 3-4, 2 Trombone 1, 4 Trombone 2-3, 2 Bass Trombone, 3 Euphonium, 2 Baritone T.C., 5 Tuba, 4 String Bass.