Butterworth: The Banks of Green Willow – wind quintet


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The original is a short orchestral piece by George Butterworth, probably the most played of his three works for orchestra. It has certainly been his most recorded orchestral work.
Described by its composer as an “Idyll”, and written in 1913, it is scored for a small orchestra consisting of two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, one trumpet, harp and strings.
Butterworth based The Banks of Green Willow on two folk song melodies that he noted in 1907 – “The banks of green willow” and “Green bushes”. The popular piece is often used on TV in programmes with wholesome panoramic views of the British countryside. It has a relaxing pastoral “English” feel to it.
I have arranged it for wind quintet. This is transposed key of Bb major, so written for Bb clarinet.
I have also added an optional cut, avoiding the middle section, so that you can play it as reflective background music..There is an additional bar, to be omitted in the full version, and played in the cut one!

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