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Music Publishers - Goodmusic, Roberton Publications, Bardic Edition & Leslie Music Supply

01684 773883

for trombone and piano
Goodmusic GM075

Catalogue Number: GM075

ISMN: 9790222282179

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Song of the Frog Orchid image
The Song of the Frog Orchid, completed in 1983 for Paul Nieman, who gave it it‘s first performance in London, was the sixth to be written in a cycle of instrumental and orchestral depictions of the forty-eight wild orchids of Britain and Ireland, of which twenty-eight have been completed to date.

The Frog Orchid, Coeloglossum viride, though widely distributed throughout Britain and Ireland, is local and often overlooked, being camouflaged by its greenish inflorescence, which is sometimes tinged red or brown. It derives its name from the likeness of its hooded upper petals and divided lower petals to the 'bulging eyes' and legs of a frog. It varies greatly in size (tiny to robust) and habitat (from stabilised sand dunes to the height of 3,300 feet in the Grampians of Scotland and to 13,000 feet on the Turkestan plateau). In the south of England it is generally associated with calcareous pastures, ancient workings and battlefields.
The orchid's links to human antiquity account for the first part of the work; the second part is the 'Song' of the orchid 'from its own point of view'. The piano commences a lugubrious narrative, leading to a somewhat Mahlerian funeral march. The latter becomes the subject of a couple of loose variations - the one referring to an ancient conflict and the other to its fusty and 'fossilised' remains. A more lyrical interval leads to a ghoulish cadenza, after which the piano returns with a birdsong-line diversion from the gloom, which misleadingly heralds an even more bloody reference to the funeral march, ending the first part of the piece. The 'Song', itself the subject of two loose variants, follows without a break and is totally unrelated to the human perception of the plant: the orchid basks in the warmth of its cushion of short grass and enjoys the tranquillity of its downland surroundings - so sadly disappearing nowadays.
Duration 17 minutes

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