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Flowers of the Forest


Genre: Band
# of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 4:35
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2006

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    Written as a memorial, Flowers of the Forest is based on a poem of the same name by the composer affirming the idea that death is a change and not an end. The simple haunting melody has echoes of a Scottish folk song with the bagpipe-like drone providing a foundation.

    Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
    Level: 4 | Duration: 4:35

    Oboe (opt.)
    Bassoon (opt.)
    Clarinet in Bb 1
    Clarinet in Bb 2/3
    Bass Clarinet 1/2
    Alto Saxophone 1/2
    Tenor Saxophone
    Baritone Saxophone

    Trumpet in Bb 1
    Trumpet in Bb 2
    Trumpet in Bb 3
    Horn in F 1
    Horn in F 2
    Trombone 1
    Trombone 2
    (Baritone T.C.)

    Percussion 1 (snare drum, bass drum, low concert tom)
    Percussion 2 (suspended cymbal, tam-tam, crash cymbals)
    Percussion 3 (bells, tambourine)
    Percussion 4 (chimes)

    Program Notes
    Flowers of the Forest was commissioned by Denise Tenney for the Cabot Junior High North Symphonic Band of Cabot, Arkansas in memory of her father, Charles Alexander.

    I was initially attracted to the title and later found out that it is also the title of a traditional Scottish lament for the loss of loved ones. This is not the traditional Scottish tune or words, but my words, and the melody that came from them, were written to affirm the idea that death is a change and not an end.

    In the deep abiding wooded glen
    Are the flowers of the forest
    And I know they hold true
    To the place wherein they grow.

    In the high forests of the lonely plains
    Midst the stormy winds of autumn
    They are there evermore
    Though the tempest rage on high.

    Though mankind in fruitless ways does strive
    To ensure a safe tomorrow.
    We can’t know what will be
    And we cannot make a flower.

    So the smiles of those who are dear to us
    And the sun in clouds above
    Are more dear to our hearts
    Than the things that Man does prize.
    Than the things that Man does prize.

    When the sunlight falters through the dappled shade
    ‘Neath the trees upon the mountain
    Then I know that the flowers
    Will be closing ‘gainst the night.

    But the sun shall wake then in the morning light
    And they’ll open to the brightness
    Of a day so renewed
    That its blazing won’t expire.

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