Vom Himmel hoch da komm’ ich her (From Heaven to Earth I come… )
This little fugue on Martin Luther’s famous Advent hymn is in the German baroque style. The parts lie comfortably under the fingers and extremes of range are absent. The challenge is in ensemble synchronicity and tuning -- hence a rating of “moderate.”
Note where the fugue subject (the first eight notes of the hymn) is inverted and in 4:1 diminution (i.e., half notes become eighths).
An easy yet very sophisticated fugue treatment of a well-known hymn tune, fugue fans will delight in the various compositional techniques the composer uses. The main technical feature that earned it a “moderate” rating by the composer, comes from the key signature of three flats and the intonation and occasional fingering challenges that presents. The fugue subject is slow moving, while frequently the material running against it is faster. This fugue would make a great warm-up to get your mind engaged before tackling more difficult pieces. There are some high B-flats in the soprano and tenor, and the alto part is in the mid-upper part of the range for most of the piece, but the key signature is actually very recorder-friendly and sits comfortably under the fingers.
-- Glen Shannon
Anthony St. Pierre has recorded play-along parts for this piece.