Three Chorale Preludes (Brahms)

From Wind Repertory Project
Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms (orch. John Boyd; ed. Frederick Fennell)

Subtitle: Dedicated to the memory of John P. Paynter.

This work bears the designation Opus 122.

General Info

Year: 1896 / 1996
Duration: c. 10:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Ludwig-Masters Publications
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


1. Behold, A Rose is Blooming – 2:55
2. O God, Thou Faithful God – 4:35
3. O World, I Must Now Leave Thee – 4:25


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Chorale Prelude Op. 122 (1896) Death and loss had been at the forefront of Johannes Brahms’ mind during the beginning of the year 1896. In March of that year Brahms’ lifelong friend and champion, Clara Schumann, suffered a massive stroke. On May 7th -- Brahms’ birthday -- he had completed the set, his final music set to words.

On May 21st, Clara passed away in Frankfurt am Main. Brahms, who considered Clara to be the “greatest wealth” in his life, was so devastated that he bungled his travel arrangements and missed the funeral in Bonn. The grueling 40-hour travel to attend the funeral served only to hasten the progress of his, now far advanced, liver cancer.

It was in this atmosphere that Brahms composed the Eleven Chorale Preludes, his first music for the organ since 1857. This is intensely private music, and the first seven movements were written in response to the death and loss of Clara. A marked change happens with the eighth movement, Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen. This movement deals with a new beginning. The text of this movement centers on the birth of the savior, but also serves as a metaphor for the beginning of life beyond hardship.

This eighth movement was lovingly arranged for band by John Boyd and edited by Frederick Fennell, and was lovingly dedicated to the memory of their friend and colleague, John Paynter.

- Program Note from University of Oklahoma Symphony Band concert program, 19 November 2018


State Ratings

  • Florida: IV
  • Maryland: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Orchestra (Christine Higley, conductor) - 10 December 2021
  • Triangle Wind Ensemble (Cary, N.C.) (Evan Feldman, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, Va.) Ensemble (Brian A. Coffill, conductor) – 9 November 2019
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Symphony Band (Michael E. Hancock, conductor) – 19 November 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Brahms, J.; Boyd, J.; Fennell, F. (1996). Three Chorale Preludes [score]. Ludwig: Cleveland, Ohio.