Franz Liszt (1811-1886) composed a copious amount of church music in his final years in a vain effort to imbue the field with a purity that might inspire future composers. The oratorio Christus is his masterpiece in this style. The opening portion of its Epiphany March is an instrumental representation of the Magi’s search for the Christ child. At its conclusion, the score quotes Matthew 2:9: “They set out, and there before them was the star they had seen rising, and it went ahead of them until it stopped above the place where the child lay.” The whole of this portion of the march is based on the staccato tune developing from the opening motive. This arrangement replaces the original wind parts with Liszt’s own piano transcription of them.
Score and parts included: 2 violins, viola, violoncello, double bass, 2 horns, piano.