Engelberg's Distillation of Sublime (2008, 10')

for brass quartet (2 trumpets, 2 trombones), timpani, percussion, and organ.
Commissioned by St. Matthew-Trinity Lutheran Church, Hoboken, NJ.


Distillation of Sublime is scored for brass quartet, percussion, timpani and organ. It was commissioned by and is dedicated to St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoboken, New Jersey, in honor of their 150th anniversary. The work is loosely based on the hymn "Engelberg", by Charles V. Stanford (1852-1924). The original hymn tune is heard rather clearly in some sections of the work, while other sections manipulate and expand the hymn materials.

Although celebratory in nature, the work reflects my own personal relationship to God and spirituality, emphasizing a more intimate, lyrical and meditative connection. This becomes even more apparent in the finale, in which the mood is one of subtle, contemplative joy, quiet perhaps, but blissful nonetheless.