“Jordan” by William Billings (1746-1800) is one of his descriptions of the Promised Land, which must have been a potent theme for his fellow citizens. Personally I find Billings’ style most moving. His tunes are simple and beautifully soaring, and his open sonorities ring out boldly.
This piece uses quite effectively changing textures. The Soprano part does not start until measure 5 in the first section and in the second repeated section the tenors and basses have their moment in the sun and are then joined by the other parts. This is so simple a thing to do and yet the effect is so powerful.
A major is not an easy recorder key. Don’t let a loaded key signature keep you from learning a new piece. Also, if you are playing the bass recorder and ever have a high C#, try the fingering (Half 0,123, 567). Often on bass recorders this fingering is stronger and more in tune than (Half 0, 12, 4). That is also the case with high G# on the tenor.
-- Roy Sansom
Play-along files synthesized and contributed by Roy Sansom. Accompaniments are at 8' pitch, so the top line will sound best on tenor, second line on bass, etc. if available. However, a soprano will also work for the top line.