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SONG OF THE LATE SPIDER ORCHID by Peter Lawson
for two pianos
Goodmusic GM068

Catalogue Number: GM068

ISMN: 9790222281851

Song of the Late Spider Orchid image
The Song of the Late Spider Orchid was the tenth to be written in a series of musical portraits - for various instrumental combinations - of the wild orchids of Great Britain and Ireland, of which there are forty-eight. It was first performed by its dedicatees, Stephen Coombs and Christopher Scott, in the Purcell Room, London, on October 23rd 1986.

The Late Spider Orchid is a member of the exotic Ophrys section of the orchid family. Ophrys orchids imitate insects and in some instances the male insect is tricked into believing the flower to be a female - inducing pollination by a process known as pseudo-copulation. Although widely found in the Mediterranean region and as far North and East as Germany and Syria, the Late Spider Orchid, Ophrys fuciflora (or O. holoserica) is now extremely rare in Britain, being confined to short chalk turf in two small areas of Kent.

The Song of the Late Spider Orchid commences with a passacaglia-like sequence of chords - representing our impression of the orchid and fancifully depicting the brown, gold, pink and green colours of the plant: this is basically harmony and rhythm without melody. Later we hear the 'song' of the orchid itself - melody without much of a rhythmic shape. In the final section, the two elements are ultimately fused, the melody of the 'song' being given the passacaglia's rhythm - a musical pollination, as it were.
Two copies are required for performance
Duration 10 minutes

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