Music by Heinrich Herzogenberg (1843-1900): Shepherds’ Music (Hirtenmusik, from Geburt Christi, [The Birth of Christ], Op. 90, 1895). Arrangement for brass quintet, piano and optional timpani by William J. Bullock.
By tradition, mention of shepherds at Christmas requires performance of a idyllic instrumental piece. As is true here, such pieces (often entitled “pastorale”) typically flow gently in compound meter in the manner of a lullaby. The type originated in Italy, where rural shepherds followed an old tradition of playing such music on their shawms as they came into town on Christmas morning. Herzogenberg, a professor of composition in Berlin and lifelong friend of Brahms, composed this pastorale for organ and strings for use in the traditional way in his Christmas oratorio. This arrangement is faithful to the original.
Parts and score included: Trumpet 1 in C, Trumpet 2 in C, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, optional Timpani.