O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel” are the opening words of John Mason Neale’s (1818-1866) translation of the Medieval text, “Veni, Emmanuel,” with music arranged by Thomas Helmore (1811-1890), for The Hymnal Noted (London, 1856). The text of this most famous of Advent hymns is taken from various “‘O’ Antiphons,” verses sung or recited before and after the Magnificat during the evening Vespers service in the last week of Advent. Each antiphon is a name of Christ, and together they echo the foretelling of the long-expected Messiah by the prophet Isaiah.

The origin of the music is uncertain. Some claim it to be from a 15th-century French processionale (hymnal, liturgical manual) for Franciscan nuns; others believe it to be of earlier, eighth-century Gregorian plainsong origins. 

This arrangement for SAB voices, flute, and piano features a meditative introduction by solo flute (echoed in flute countermelodies in later verses) and both traditional and contemporary harmonies.

SAB/piano/flute score (8 pages, 8.5×11″) – $2 USD/copy

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