Slumber My Darling
Composed by Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864)
Arranged by Norman Thibodeau for Flute Choir
Published by Alry Publications
Includes score and parts
3 C Flutes
Alto Flute (or Flute 4)
Bass Flute (or Flute 5)
If I only knew this Stephen Foster lullaby through a passing glance at the sheet music, I must confess I wouldn't have been too interested. But I came to know it through Alison Krauss's stunningly simple and moving recording. The mood it put me into was the starting point of the arrangement. Even though I take the lullaby to quite a different place than Foster's original or Krauss's interpretation, I mean for it to be kept grounded in that warm, sweet peacefulness. So play the suspensions and contrapuntal imitations with awareness, but not too self-consciously.
Much of the arrangement concentrates on the low flutes and the low register of the C flute, so take special care with intonation to establish a good pitch base for the higher, forte passages near the end. The notes marked “accent in p” need only to be brought out a little bit. If the extended notes in the low parts are too long for a single breath, break them in a logical place, such as halfway through a four-measure note, or use staggered breathing if multiple players are available.
While this arrangement is written with the sound of the alto and bass flutes very much in mind, optional parts and 8va passages allow it to be played by an ensemble of all C flutes with C foot joints.
The metronome marking of 116 to the quarter is a midway figure in a range that could run from about 104 to 126. I suggest taking room acoustics and the size of the ensemble into account, then aiming for a tempo that is peaceful, yet allows for a slightly lilting quality to the dotted rhythms.
– Norman Thibodeau