Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

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Brass Quintet (Tpt1 in Bb and Picc. in Bb, Tpt2 in Bb, Horn, Trombone, Tuba); French Carol, arr. Wayne Bennett

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Description

Written in the 17th century, the text of the French carol Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella refers to two female farmhands who find a mother and baby sleeping in a stable. They invite villagers to come see the newborn baby, but urge the visitors throughout the carol to “hush, hush,” so that he may enjoy his dreaming sleep. The carol’s lilting tune represents both the ladies’ sense of expectation as well as the mother’s lullaby. Appropriately, this arrangement also employs the Welsh hymntune Hyfrydol as a bridge, commonly used to set the hymns Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.

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