Flower Songs Ross EDWARDS (b. 1943)
I Ecstatic II Tranquil
Flower Songs, commissioned by Nicholas Routley for the Sydney Chamber Choir in 1987, is scored
for 16-part choir and two percussionists. The piece follows an interesting trend in Australian
choral music (also exemplified by Anne Boyd's As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams and several works
of Percy Grainger) in sidestepping the perennial problem of finding a text, by selecting a series
of words entirely for sound value (in this case, the Latin and Greek names of several Australian
wildflowers). This ensures that the work will stand on its own as a purely musical structure, without
being conditioned by word setting or text structure.
Stylistically, the two movements of Flower Songs are typical of Edward's'Maninya'style,
with its diatonic harmony and rhythmic dynamism.