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01684 773883

Peter Lawson
SONG OF THE BEE ORCHID for piano and orchestra
Goodmusic GM165

Catalogue Number: GM165

ISMN: 9790222294387

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Song of the Bee Orchid - Piano Part image
Orchestration: 2 Flutes (2nd db.Piccolo & Alto Flute), 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in Bb, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba,
Timpani, Percussion (3 players: Snare Drum, Triangle, Maracas, Wood Block, Cymbals, Football Rattle (or Guiro), Tambourine, Tam-tam, Bass Drum, Guiro, Glockenspiel, Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone)
Harp, Celesta, Solo Piano
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)

The Song of the Bee Orchid is the twentieth to be completed in a cycle of musical portraits of the 48 wild orchids of Britain and Ireland, originally written in 1991-5 and substantially revised in 2014-5. It is a Piano Concerto in three movements, written for James Kirby.
Bee Orchids are a part of the Ophrys group of orchids, which imitate insects. In Britain there are also Fly and Spider orchids which look equally convincing.
The first movement of the concerto is somewhat pastoral in mood and deals with the standard Bee Orchid, Ophrys apifera, with a reverie-like middle section depicting the beautiful but rare variation chlorantha,. The movement begins and ends with a pre-echo of the 'nobilmente' theme from the second movement.
The second movement is one of colourful and violent contrasts, depicting two of the genetic mutations of the standard Bee Orchid, including the variation trollii, known as the 'Wasp Orchid'. The outer sections are themselves in three distinct sections. The first, reflecting the shock of seeing a Bee Orchid without the bee, is discordant, violent and rather weird. The second section, by contrast, is an appreciation of the beauty of the orchid mutation and is much sweeter and concordant. The third section is military and marching in style, leading to a nobilmente climax reflecting the onward march of genetic mutations.
The final movement starts with a portrait of the subspecies jurana,. This leads to a depiction of the rare subspecies bicolor. The music starts exuberantly, becoming more astringent. Finally we return to the normal bee orchid, reviewing previous material and adding new motifs as the orchid begins to self-pollinate. The mood darkens as the flowers wither as winter approaches, before a coda depicts the orchid's thousands of dust-like seeds dispersing.
The A4 score and the Piano Solo (two piano copy) part are on sale. Orchestral material is available on hire from Goodmusic.
Duration 30 minutes

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