Comfort, Comfort Ye, My People

French composer Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510-1559) wrote or adapted a number of tunes to the metrical settings of the Psalms in the Genevan Psalter. The tune on which this arrangement is based was written for Psalm 42, which begins, “As a deer thirsts for flowing streams, so thirsts my soul for you, O God.” Today, the tune often accompanies a text written by Johann Olearius (1635-1711) and translated by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) that paraphrases Isaiah 40:1-5, the prophet’s call for repentance at the advent of a new kingdom bringing peace and joy: “Comfort, comfort ye my people, speak ye peace, thus saith our God.”

In this arrangement, a straightforward statement of the chorale tune leads into an energetic, highly syncopated romp in constantly changing meters.

Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99

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