O Come Emmanuel
2020 / Midnight Rain Productions
66 pages / 14 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
David Nevue’s O Come Emmanuel songbook is a sheet music collection of 13 of the 14 pieces from his 2003 album by the same name plus a bonus piece. Sheet music for the individual pieces has been available to download for quite awhile, but it’s wonderful to have the whole album between two covers! The pieces have been reformatted and re-edited to be an even closer match to the recordings than they were originally, so there are a lot of improvements! The missing piece from the album is “Some People See Him.” David was unable to get permission from the original publisher of the piece, so he opted to include his 2015 arrangement of “O Holy Night” instead - an excellent trade!
The songbook is available in three formats - printed and spiral-bound directly from David (my choice by far!), printed and not spiral-bound from Amazon, and as a download. The spiral-bound books are about $7 more than the non-spiral-bound books, but let me tell you why I think the spiral-bound books are a much better deal. The biggest thing is that the Amazon books won’t stay open on the piano, so they have to be braced with other books (or something!), making page turns clumsy and very awkward. I can tell you from lots of experience that this can be very frustrating. The spiral-bound books are printed on a somewhat heavier paper stock (but not TOO heavy!) so they will last a lot longer - especially without the wear and tear on the binding trying to keep the book open!!!
The sheet difficulty ranges from intermediate to early-advanced, but most of the pieces are on the easier side. Some of the rhythms are different from how the carols are usually arranged, creating a nice variation from the standard versions. However, they aren’t “too different,” making them very suitable for recitals, church services, get-togethers, and just to play for pleasure. The layout of the book is beautiful - spacious and very easy to read. All of the pieces have metronome settings, suggested pedaling, and plenty of dynamics. The book also includes a David Nevue fact sheet and discography. It’s an excellent book!
The song titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are:
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Away in a Manger - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 6 pages
Watching Their Flocks - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 3 pages
Joy to the World - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 1/2 pages
Angels We Have Heard on High - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Silent Night - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 6 pages
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 pages
Coventry Carol - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 1/2 pages
We Three Kings - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 6 pages
The Gift - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
O Holy Night - Key of E (4 sharps) - 6 pages
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 5 pages
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 2 pages
November 1, 2020