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Three Chorale Preludes

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William P. Latham

William P Latham

General Info

Year: 1956
Duration: c. 8:25
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts - $65.00   |   Score Only - $9.00


1. Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light - 3:50
2. O Sacred Head Now Wounded - 3:35
3. Now Thank We all Our God - 1:30


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III (Trumpet)
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


  • Timpani, Movement 2, delete the repeat bar at the end of measure 16.

Program Notes

Three Chorale Preludes epitomizes the perfect teaching piece and performance work. Although based on familiar chorale melodies, the work is an original. Each prelude reflects contrasting tempi and textures, and although each one stands alone, the overall emotional effect is heightened with a continuous performance of all three.

-Program Note by publisher

Three Chorale Preludes, although written in the early 18th-century style and based on familiar chorale melodies, are not arrangements of any existing chorale preludes. They are original compositions for band. They are based on:

1. Ermunter Dich, Mein Schwacher Geist (Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light). The text is from a Christmas hymn by Johann Rist. The tune is by Johann Schop. It was first published in Rist's Himmlische Lieder, 1641. The tune has been used by many composers, including J.S. Bach in his Christmas Oratorio.

2. Herzlich Tut Mich Verlangen (My Heart Is Filled with Longing). Several texts have been set to this tune. It is best known as the "Passion Chorale," or "O Sacred Head Now Wounded." The melody was originally that of a love song, Mein G'mut ist mir Verwirret, by Hans Leo Hassler. As such, it appeared in his collection of secular songs called Lustgarten Neuer Deutscher Gesang in 1601. Bach used the tune five times in the St. Matthew Passion, in different harmonic settings. There have been many polyphonic settings by various composers, including Johannes Brahms.

3. Nun Danket Alle Gott (Now Thank We all God). The text is by Martin Rinckart; the tune was probably written by Johann Cruger. It first appeared in Cruger's Praxis Pietatis Melica, 1647. Bach used the chorale in his "Cantata for Reformation Sunday."

-Program Notes from score

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class A
  • Arkansas: IV
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: IV
  • Iowa: III
  • Kansas: IV
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Maryland: V
  • Massachusetts: IV
  • Minnesota: II
  • North Carolina: IVx
  • Oklahoma: IV-A
  • South Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: IV
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: III


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Clark College (Vancouver, Wash.) Concert Band (Doug Harris, conductor) – 13 March 2020
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison University Band (Darin Olson, conductors) – 8 March 2020
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Penn.) Symphony Band (Jason Worzbyt, conductor) – 7 December 2019
  • University of Manitoba (Winnipeg) Concert Band (Ryan Wehrle, conductor) – 18 October 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison University Bands (Darin Olson, conductors, conductor) – 13 October 2019
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Sooner Band (Brian Wolfe, conductor) – 18 April 2019
  • Penn State University (University Park) Symphonic Band (Dennis Glocke, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • California State University, Northridge, Wind Ensemble (Lawerence Stoffel, conductor) – 29 November 2016
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Symphony Band (Caroline Hand, conductor) – 30 September 2016
  • University of Arkansas Symphonic Band (Dustin Jones, conductor) – 7 March 2016
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Concert Band (Jocelyn Prendergast, conductor) – 2 March 2016
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 2 November 2015
  • ATSSB (Association of Texas Small School Bands) All-State Symphonic Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) - 14 February 2015 (2015 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Indiana University Concert Band (David C. Woodley, conductor) - 18 November 2014
  • Cuesta Wind Ensemble (Jennifer Martin, conductor) - 24 September 2014
  • University of Nevada at Las Vegas Symphonic Winds - 6 March 2014

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble: Volume 2 L-Z. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 180. Print.
  • Latham, W. (1956). Three Chorale Preludes for Concert Band [score]. Summy-Birchard: [United States].
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 371.