Slow Tears by Rhonda Larson
for Alto Flute and Piano (with optional organ or synth)
Published by Wood Nymph Music
Includes score and alto flute part
Slow Tears was inspired by the Orlando Gibbons (15th Cent.) choral settings of “Drop, Drop, Slow Tears”. Usually sung during Lent, it tells the story of remorse due to our blindness as humans. We “see” what we lack as human beings, the knowledge of which compels our truest tears which drop slowly onto “the feet of Jesus”. I felt that the Gibbons musical setting was a bit too cheery for the words, so I set out to rectify that in writing a new version, which subsequently became an entirely different piece of music.
The ideal accompanying keyboard for this piece is both piano and synthesizer, one player. Piano in one hand, while synth is played on the other hand (your choice of which hand, depending upon where the synth keyboard is set up). The other reason for the two keyboards is that the accompanying piano is very basic, and the synth string orchestra sound adds depth and fills out the “dropping of tears” of the piano. Piano is written in the bottom staff, unless otherwise noted, while the synth part exists mainly in the sustained notes. If you only have a piano to accompany this, make it a Grande one, responsive to the fact that your notes need to sustain and be played with the same sensitivity in the striking of the chords as if you were a string orchestra.