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SONG OF THE YOUNG'S HELLEBORINE by Peter Lawson
for violin and piano
Goodmusic GM171

Catalogue Number: GM171

ISMN: 9790222297555

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Song of the Young's Helleborine image
The Song of the Young's Helleborine is associated with a cycle of musical portraits of the 48 wild orchids of Britain and Ireland. It is not so much a portrait of one of the numbered separate species, but an arrangement of parts of the Song of the Broad Helleborine, for organ, incorporating parts of Song of the Slender-Lipped Helleborine, for violin and guitar. It is dedicated to Patrick Wastnage and Elizabeth Dunn.
Young's Helleborine, Epipactis Helleborine var. youngiana, was once thought by some to be a new species but it is now regarded as a variant of Broad Helleborine. The two plants look very similar in that they are robust in stature, with many flowers on the tall spike. However, the leaves of var. youngiana are rather more yellowish in colour and the lower labellum of each flower is suffused with a rose rather than a red tint. This has led many to speculate that these are merely colour variations due to the effects of pollution - the orchid has always been found on or near spoil heaps from old lead mines. It flowers slightly earlier than Broad Helleborine, in July rather than August.
It appears to be endemic to Britiain and is found in Northumberland, the area near the South Tyne and in the industrial belt of Southern Scotland. It was first discovered by the late Tony Porter, who showed me a colony of plants in a wood near an old lead mine near Hexham. He and the botanist AJ Richards named it in tribute to D.P.Young, who had carried out much research into Helleborines.

The Song of the Young's Helleborine begins in the peaceful world of a deep wood and quotes the opening of the Song of the Slender-Lipped Helleborine. The latter, although having slightly different characteristics as a plant, shares a similar sylvan habitat. There follows a more energetic and jocular section, taken from the Song of the Broad Helleborine, referring to the exciting jumble of colours in the flowering spike - greens, reds , creams and the yellow of the pollinia. We gradually return to the opening tranquillity before revisiting the excitement and colour of the world of the orchid itself - to end in a playful manner. Peter Lawson
Duration 10½ minutes

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