Venantius Fortunatus’s hymn Vexilla regis prodeunt
introduces Via Crucis
, but in the earlier piano work upon the same theme, which also exists for orchestra, the procession is not that of the Via Dolorosa, but a real crusaders’ march, full of power and vigour, with just one gentler variation before the coda. Vexilla regis prodeunt
, too, remained unpublished until 1978.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1990