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01684 773883

Peter Lawson
SONG OF THE HEATH SPOTTED ORCHID
for trumpet and piano
Goodmusic GM189

Catalogue Number: GM189

ISMN: 9790222302938

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Song of the Heath Spotted Orchid image
The Song of the Heath Spotted Orchid is the thirty-sixth to be written in a cycle of musical portraits of the forty-eight wild orchids of Great Britain and Ireland - for various instrumental and orchestral combinations.
The Heath Spotted Orchid, Dactylorhiza maculata ssp. ericetorum, is a short, daintier version of the main species. Subspecies ericetorum is only found in Western Europe, but is most plentiful on the acidic moors of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and western England. It is a subspecies of the Heath or Moorland Spotted orchid, Dactylorhiza maculata, ssp maculata, which is usually found on alkaline soils, from Morocco to Eastern Siberia, sometimes growing with Common Spotted Orchid, Dactylorhiza fuschii,.
Subspecies ericetorum has white or pinkish flowers in roundish clusters. Each flower has a wide frilly-edged, three-lobed lower lip with the central lobe being the least significant, more like a small tooth. The lobes are marked with magenta dots and lines and the long, narrow, pointed leaves are marked with dark, brownish spots or stains, hence the botanical name maculata, meaning spotted.
The Song of the Heath Spotted Orchid has four short movements and employs a colour-coding scheme of harmonies, which can heard in the piano accompaniment at the outset of the first movement, Folk Song, a ternary movement in which the middle section is in the magenta colour. The second movement, in the light blue key, refers not to any colour in the orchid but the sky above and is entitled Air: Blue Skies Over the Heath. Its melody line mainly uses the pentatonic variant of the light-blue key, pentatonic scales being a characteristic mode used in Gaelic music. The third movement, Intermezzo, again in ternary form, is largely in the green key. The final movement, Gavotte and Jig, is a light-hearted dance-like affair in binary form with a nautical flavour in the opening Gavotte, referring to heathland in Western Britain. It also refers (during abrupt key changes) to the struggle of the orchid to survive in its natural environment, having to contend with the drainage of moorland, being eaten by sheep, being trampled on or picked by humans and, in a short frosty section, the unpredictable winter weather. This gives way to the re-emergence of the plant in the spring, where the melody is turned into a lively, exuberant jig. Peter Lawson
Duration 8 minutes

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