The Crown of Roses by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Transcribed for Flute Quartet by Georges Moreau
Instrumentation: 2 c flutes, alto flute, bass flute
Score and parts
The Crown of Roses was written in 1883 by the Russian Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). It is the 5th song of a songbook title ‘Songs for the Young’ for voice and piano. In 1889 he made an arrangement for choir.
The song is based on the following English Legend:
When Jesus Christ was yet a child He had a garden small and wild, Wherein He cherished roses fair, And wove them into garlands there.
Now once, as summer time drew nigh, There came a troop of children by, And seeing roses on the tree, Whith shouts they plucked them quickly.
Do you bind roses in you hair? They cried, in scorn, to Jesus there, The Boy said humbly: “Take, I pray, All but the naked throns away.”
Then of the throns they made a crown, And with rough fingers pressed it down, Till on His forehead fair and young, Red drops of blood like roses spring.
Later on Tchaikovsky made several transcriptions of this musical work, including ones for soprano and tenor and orchestra.