Variations on Joseph Barnby’s Sweet and Low for saxophone quartet


There are (at least) 2 settings of Tennyson’s poem “Sweet and Low”, one by Barnby and one by Stanford.
This is a set of variations on Barnby’s setting.
As the piece progresses after the original transcription, the top melody becomes melismatic and is shared amongst all the instruments in turn, ending with
a brief canon based on the initial phrase.

Original poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sweet and low, sweet and low
Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me,
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother’s breast,
Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west
Under the silver moon!
Sleep my little one, sleep my pretty one, sleep