BUTTERWORTH, George: The Banks of Green Willow, arr. for Flute Choir (4fl, afl, bfl)

Composer
George Butterworth (1885-1916)
Year of composition
1913
Year of arrangement
2014
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
5 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Sextet (Flute)
Instrumental parts
Related scores
ROSSINI, Gioacchino: Sonata in D for Flute Choir, after String Sonata no 6 in D (3fl, afl, bfl)., BOCCHERINI, Luigi: String Trio, Opus 4.1 for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bfl), ALBERT, Prince Consort: Melody for Flute Choir (2 fl, afl, bfl), ROSSINI, Gioacchino: Sonata in F for Flute Choir, after String Sonata 5 in E flat (3fl, afl, bassfl), CHABRIER, Emmanuel: Danse villageoise (Suite Pastorale (1888), #2) for Flute Choir (picc, 3fl, afl, bfl), ROSSINI, Gioacchino: Sonata in G for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bassfl), CARULLI, Ferdinando: Duettino no 3 (Op. 191) arranged for flute quartet (4fl)., Mendelssohn, Felix: Two Songs (Op. 63, 1 and 3) for Flute Choir (3 fl, afl, bassfl), SHARP, Cecil: Morris Dances, arr. for Flute Choir (picc., 2fl, afl, bfl, tambourine), DEBUSSY, Claude: Reverie (1890) arranged for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bfl), DEBUSSY, Claude: Bruyères (Preludes pour piano, 2. 5) for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bfl), PUGNANI, Gaetano: Sonata no 3 in C (Six Sonatas, Op 7) arr. for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bassfl), DEBUSSY, Claude: Epigraphes antiques (1915), nos 1 and 6, arranged for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bfl), DVORAK, Anton: Serenade for Strings, Op. 22, # 2 Tempo di Valse for Flute Choir (3fl, afl,bfl), Koehler, Ernesto: Six Salon Pieces, Op. 60, arranged for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bfl), GIULIANI, Mauro: La Terpsicore del Nord (Op. 147), Book 3, no 13 for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bfl), DVORAK, Anton: Serenade for Strings, Op. 22 # 1: Moderato for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bfl), ARBEAU, Thoinot: Orchesographie (1589), Dances from, for Flute Choir (picc., 2fl, afl, bfl + side drum and tambourine)., CUI, Cesar: Orientale and Petite Caprice (Op. 50) for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bfl), Beethoven: Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens (Op. 113) arranged for Flute Choir (picc, 3fl, afl, bfl), Tchaikovsky: Elegie from the Serenade for Strings (Op. 48) for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bass fl), BORODIN: Notturno from String Quartet no 2, for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bfl), SAILORS’ HORNPIPE and Three other Sea Pieces for Flute Choir (picc, fl, afl, bfl), KUFFNER, Josef: Minuet and Rondo from Serenade, Op 4 for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bfl), MOZART: Quartets from Early Piano Sketches for Flute Choir (2fl,afl,bfl), Godard, Benjamin: Suite de Trois Morceaux, Op. 116 arranged for Flute Choir (3 fl, alto fl, bass fl), SAINT-SAENS: Danse Macabre, Opus 40, for Flute Choir (3fl, afl, bassfl), Schubert: Fifteen Original Dances from D.365 arranged for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bassfl), Haydn: Trio no 4 in F for flute choir (3 fl, alto fl, bass fl), MOZART, W.A.: Andante in C, K.315, arranged for Flute Choir (3 fl, afl, bfl)., Haydn: Trio no 2 in C for flute choir (3 fl, alto fl, bass fl), Beethoven: Romance in G for flute solo and flute choir, Haydn: Trio no 1 in D for flute choir (3 fl, alto fl, bass fl), Mozart, ’Flute Concerto’ in A (after Violin Concerto no 5, K.219) for flute choir (movt 1, Allegro/Adagio/Allegro), FISCHER, Johann Christian: QUARTET IN F FOR FLUTE CHOIR (2fl, afl, bfl) after Oboe Concerto no 2., Elgar, Edward: Salut d’amour, Op. 12 for flute choir (3fl, alt.fl., bass), Koehler: Valse des Fleurs, Op. 87 (2 solo fl; fl, fl, afl, bass fl), Christmas Carols from Poland for Flute Choir, Beethoven: Romance in F, Op. 50, arr. for flute solo and flute choir, Tchaikovsky: Waltz from the Serenade for Strings (Op. 48) for Flute Choir (3 fl, afl, bass fl), Brahms, Johannes: Hungarian Dances 16 and 17 for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bfl), SEA SHANTIES for Flute Choir (picc; 2fl; a/fl;bass fl ), Couperin: Le Moucheron arranged for 4 C flutes, Brooks-Davies: Suite for Flute Choir (picc., 3 fl, alto fl, bass fl), Matiegka: Notturno for Flute Choir (Lento and Zingara only) 3fl, afl, bassfl, Grieg: Album-leaf (Op. 12, no 7) for flute choir (2fl, afl, bfl), Brooks-Davies: A Shropshire Pastorale for oboe and string orchestra, Mozart: 12 Variations on ’La Bergere Celimene’ (K. 359) for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bassfl)., Grieg: Waltz in A minor (Op. 12) for Flute Choir (2fl, afl, bfl) and Mozart, ’Flute Concerto’ in D, after Violin Concerto no 4 (K. 218) for flute choir (3fl, afl,bassfl), movt 2, Andante cantabile.

The Banks of Green Willow, like Butterworth’s friend Vaughan Williams’s Greensleeves Fantasia, is one of the loveliest works to emerge from the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century academic interest in English folk song. Butterworth was killed in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, and this sad fact, and the very fact of the Great War itself, has inevitably coloured our reading of his few remaining scores. Yet the music is in itself wistful, haunting, shot through with nostalgia for a pastoral myth, the loss of some illusory innocence, perhaps: one thinks of Butterworth’s favourite, Housman, and also of Hardy. Its very subtitle, Idyll, had, since ancient Greece, signified a pastoral sketch or poem. The present arrangement for 4 flutes plus alto and bass flutes is as economical as I could make it while retaining fidelity to the original score. In an attempt to evoke some of the timbres of the original, I have marked a few passages to be played by one instrument alone. The demisemiquaver attempt to mimic the harp glissandi is marked optional, to help render the piece easier; while a few bars of double-tongued semiquavers for the inner parts are marked with a simpler alternative. All tempi, phrasing indications, crescendi, etc, are as in the original published score. This is a wonderful piece for flutes, a great audience favourite, and particularly suitable for performance during the World War I centenary anniversaries. The original was first performed in February 1914.

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