“Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise,” one of the most popular of all hymn texts on the Ascension of Christ, was written by the great Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and published in 10 stanzas in his Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739) as “Hymn for Ascension Day.” The “alleluias” were added in George White’s Hymns and Introits (1852).
The tune most often associated with Wesley’s text, “Llanfair,” is attributed to Welsh singer Robert Williams (1781-1821). In this arrangement, elements of the tune are employed in a majestic, constantly modulating introduction before giving way to three presentations of melody — first, straightforwardly by the full quintet; second, following a modulation down a major third, by a trio; and third, following another modulation back to the original key, by the full quintet, with a short coda incorporating a flourish recalling the introduction.
Especially appropriate at Ascension due to the associated text, this instrumental arrangement is also fitting as a prelude or postlude at any time.
Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99