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Music Publishers - Goodmusic, Roberton Publications & Leslie Music Supply

01684 773883

Peter Lawson
THE LADY'S SLIPPER ORCHID
for narrator and orchestra
Goodmusic Concert Originals No.162

Catalogue Number: GMCO162

Difficulty level: E What's this?

ISMN: 9790222307575

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Lady's Slipper Orchid  Pack image
Orchestration: 2 Flutes (2nd db Piccolo), 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in Bb, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (1 player: Glockenspiel, Tubular Bells), Harp
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)
Narrator [optional]

The Lady's Slipper Orchid, Cypripedium calceolus, is recognisable by its large, yellow lip, resembling a slipper. It attracts small bees, who fall into it. The walls are slippery but have hairs which act as footholds to guide the insect up a passage where it rubs against a mass of pollen. It leaves and tends to land on a nearby flower. The process is repeated and this time the sticky pollen from the first flower pollinates the second flower.
The orchid's exotic beauty caused it to be picked, dug up and eventually declared extinct in Britain in 1917. However, in the 1930s a solitary plant was found in Yorkshire, which was kept secret but had a warden on 24-hour guard with a trip-wire around it to stop orchid collectors from digging it up. In the 1990s scientists at Kew Gardens started a programme of producing seedlings from it by cross-pollinating with a plant taken from the wild. After a worrying start, where only four out of a hundred such plants actually flowered, nowadays there are many successfully flowering plants in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and County Durham.
The Lady's Slipper Orchid is in four continuous movements.
The first movement, A little Pollination Subterfuge, refers to the trick the orchid plays on the poor insect as described above.
The second movement, Legend of the Lady's Slipper Orchid, describes the goddess Venus walking through a wood one day, when she heard thunder. Running for shelter, she found she had lost one of her golden slippers. The next day, a shepherdess espied the slipper and ran to it, but in front of her very eyes, it turned into a flower, now known as Lady's Slipper Orchid.
The third movement, A Drastic Decline in Population, describes the orchid's demise and the fourth movement, The Programme of Reintroduction, describes the scientists’ endeavours in a fugue, which takes unexpected twists as the programme temporarily went wrong, only to end triumphantly. Peter Lawson
Duration 7½ minutes
A PACK comprises an A4 sized full score plus a complete set of parts including strings 4/4/3/4/2 and a Narrator part.

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