Be Still My Soul

From Wind Repertory Project
Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius (arr. James Swearingen)

Subtitle: A Chorale Prelude

General Info

Year: 1900 / 2016
Duration: c. 4:05
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $74.00   |   Score Only (oversized) - $24.00; (print) - $8.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Organ (optional)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Choir (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The origin of this extraordinary work dates back to 1752 when German-born Katharina von Schlegel penned a hymn that was published under the title Stille, mein Wille; dein Jesus hilft siegen (Be still, my soul; the Lord in on thy side) in a compilation A New Collection of Spiritual Songs. Later transcribed to English by Jane L. Borthwick in 1855, the new translation now appears in the second series Hymns from the Land of Luther.

The final transformation of this glorious piece takes place in 1899 when the noted composer Jean Sibelius creates a stirring melody that, when added to the text, reflects the historic struggles of the Finnish people. From his love of country and patriotism emerges the emotional quality of a deeply moving hymn that symbolizes hopes and resolution for all.

- Program Note by James Swearingen

The hymn displays a tremendous amount of passion, inspiration, and power as the intricate parts connect together, creating a stunning melody. Swearingen’s arrangement brings out the beauty of this original hymn and adds powerful trumpet lines to a moving melody by the woodwinds. The percussion and winds collectively make it feel as if the listener is in an enormous cathedral. James Swearingen’s reintroduced version of Be Still, My Soul for concert bands instills strong emotion and leaves the listener with a deep appreciation of its musical beauty.

- Program Note from William Mason High School Wind Symphony concert program, 15 December 2016


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer