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01684 773883

for flute and piano
Goodmusic GM062

Catalogue Number: GM062

ISMN: 9790222281509

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Song of the Green Winged Orchid image
The Song of the Green-Winged Orchid was written in 1986 for Simon Desorgher who gave the first performance in Putney Parish Church later that year. It was the eleventh to be written in a projected series of 48 portraits of the wild orchids of Britain and Ireland, with instrumentation ranging from solo piano to orchestral music.

The Green-winged or Green-veined orchid, Orchis morio (from the Greek moros, meaning fool, clown, crazy, so named in Renaissance times when its hooded, green-veined lateral sepals evidently invoked imagery of clowns) is rather short and stocky - usually 6-15cms high - and has a loose spike of generally 6-12 rich purple flowers, with the central lobe of the three-lobed lower lip lighter in colour with dark mauve spots. It is distinctly local and favours open dampish meadows in May, particularly on chalk, though it can tolerate a slightly acid soil - and when conditions are right, it can be abundant, though modern farming techniques and the use of fertilisers has led to a drastic reduction in plant numbers in the last fifty years. In large colonies, about one per cent are albinos, ie pure white, but there is considerable range in flower colour otherwise, from dark purple to carmine pink. The scent of the flowers is sweeter in lighter-coloured forms. It is widely distributed throughout Ireland, Wales and England (but strangely not Scotland), westward as far as the Faroe Islands, eastwards to Western Siberia and to the south, as far as the Mediterranean region, where there are two subspecies.

The Song of the Green-Winged Orchid contrasts (sometimes violently) the craziness of the outward appearance of the orchid with the beauty and sadness of the 'inner song' of the plant itself. As with other orchid portraits in the cycle, colour-coded harmonies denote the plant and its environment.
Duration 10 minutes

The YouTube video is of a concert at the London New Wind Festival 2020 at Burgh House, Hampstead on Monday 9th November 2020 in which this piece was played by its dedicatee, Simon Desorgher. The video should start at around 29'50" at the beginning of the Song of the Green Winged Orchid.

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