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01684 773883

Peter Lawson
SONG OF THE GREEN-FLOWERED HELLEBORINE for percussion
Goodmusic GM193

Catalogue Number: GM193

ISMN: 9790222303454

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Song of Green-Flowered Helleborine image
Requirements (One player): Temple Blocks (5 different pitches), Wood Blocks (high & low), Bongos (high & low), Tam-tam, Gong (large), Bass Drum, Glockenspiel, Crotales, Vibraphone, Marimba.

The Song of the Green-flowered Helleborine is the fortieth 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 Green-flowered (or Pendulous) Helleborine, Epipactis phyllanthes, is a fairly robust orchid, particularly when growing out of deep shade, when it can reach 45 cm in height. It has 3 to 6 oval leaves arranged in two rows up the stem and has a spike of up to 30 green, drooping flowers, flushed with white and sometimes pink or violet, which often do not fully open or even open at all. As the flowers usually self-pollinate, opening up seems unnecessary and sometimes flowers self-pollinate when completely closed. It is very localised and reclusive - and though not present in Scotland, has a wide distribution , mainly in beechwoods in England (in Dorset, Hampshire, Kent, Norfolk and Cumbria) and in Ireland (in Co. Dublin, Leitrim and Fermanagh). In both North and South Wales, it appears to favour coastal dunes. Abroad, it is only found in Western Europe, from Spain up to Denmark.
The Song of the Green-flowered Helleborine, like the other orchid portraits, employs a colour-coding scheme of harmonies, which is chiefly green in the outer of the three movements. The first, Prelude, features a florid cadenza-like role for the Marimba. The second, a somewhat hypnotic Woodland Reverie, is based on a colour-coded passacaglia, moving in sequence continually through green, white, pink, violet and the yellow-gold (the colour of the pollinia), first of all on the Vibraphone, then the Crotales, Glockenspiel and Marimba, before returning to the Vibraphone.
The third movement, Dance of the Phyllanthes, is a more light-hearted affair and has concertino-like roles for some of the tuned percussion instruments, the Temple and Wood Blocks, which are punctuated by repetitive comments from the bongos, the whole gaining in acrobatic virtuosity as the speed gathers towards the end. Peter Lawson
Duration 9 minutes

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