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This piece is a setting of two traditional songs, both of which tell the story of scavenger birds planning to feed on the body of a dead knight. The first tune, The Three Ravens, was first printed in 1611 in a book compiled by Thomas Ravenscroft. The second tune, Twa Corbies, is an ancient Scottish ballad. The eerie opening features an alto flute solo set against hanging harmonic chords, before the second tune appears as a refrain coloured by swooping phrases in the accompaniment. Plenty of atmosphere in this dark and mysterious piece.
Honourable mention, NFA Newly Published Music Competition
Grading: 8 to 9
Arranger: Orriss, M.
Instrumentation: Flute Quartet: 3 Fls, Afl.
Listen to a sample: