Veni, Veni (for French horn choir)


10 French Horns
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

This is a transcription of a fantasy for women’s voices on two verses of the medieval French Advent chant “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel,” one of the oldest such hymns still in regular use. The luminous original is a French processional of obscure origin, and the text is based on the ninth-century “O” Antiphons; seven chants sung one per night in the week preceding Christmas.

The horns are spread out in a semicircle, with a good amount of space between players. Ideally, the room they play in would be tall and resonant.

Songs for midwinter in all traditions use the idea of light in literal and metaphorical ways. Most are filled with hope for the renewal of the world from the apparent death of a physical or spiritual winter. The verses that I was drawn to in the chant were invocations of light (“O Oriens”) and wisdom (“O Sapientia”). The piece invokes the light by which we recognize the divinity in all things and the wisdom to live according to that knowledge.

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Additional information


Full score, Set of parts


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