Duration: 10′

  • Flute, harp and string orchestra
  • Orchestral score and parts for hire
  • Gemini Publications
  • Commissioned by the Shipley Arts Festival to mark the 50th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan William’s death. 

A work to complement the well-loved, The Lark Ascending, a beautiful, musical response to the poem by Meredith. The Descending Blueis based on Spring, by Gerard Manley Hopkins. As I read the poem I found there were many similar resonances with the Meredith poem:

  • NOTHING is so beautiful as spring;
  • When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
  • Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
  • Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
  • The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
  • The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
  • With richness; the racing lambs, too, have fair their fling Gerard Manley Hopkins

Perhaps this work should be called The Thrush Descending! As an acknowledgement to Vaughan Williams I have used five tunes in the work; The Springtime of the YearGreensleevesDown AmpneyMonks Gate and John Ireland’s My song is love unknown.