Les Papillons

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Coby Lankester (ed. Johan de Meij)

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The title translates from the French as The Butterflies.

General Info

Year: 1985
Duration: c. 10:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano
Publisher: Molenaar Edition
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €183.89   |   Score Only (print) - €28.57


1. Petit Blanc du Chou – 1:18
2. Le Belle Dame – 2:28
3. Paon de Nuit – 1:42
4. Le Satyre – 1:25
5. Le Grand Porte-Queue – 2:21


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Castanets
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The suite Les Papillons (butterflies), written by the Dutch female composer/pianist Coby Lankester, was originally for solo piano and served to accompany ballets. It was recently orchestrated for wind band by Johan de Meij, a well-known Dutch composer and arranger.

The four movements of this suite have been given names describing a few colorful members of the butterfly family, thus providing the setting for this subtle and delicate impressionistic work. In the first movement, it is the "Small White" (Petit Blanc du Chou) that hovers over the flowers and shrubs in her gay and carefree manner, warmed by a pale springtime sun. The second movement breathes the quiet and gracious charm of the "Peacock Butterfly" ("Paon de Nuit); the warm orchestral texture depicts the splendid colors of her frail wings. The third movement brings about a contrasting effect compared to the second: solo for trumpet and clarinet supported by playful dissonance and solid accompaniment. Figurations serve to draw the attention to the capricious way in which the "Wall Butterfly" (Le Satyre) flies from one flower to the other. And finally in the last movement, there is the "Swallow Tail" (Le Grand Porte-Quene) showing off her hot-blooded temper. Her fierce rhythmical dance is alternated by a sultry Habanera which leads to a sparkling finale.

- Program Note by William V. Johnson for the Cuesta Wind Ensemble concert program, 8 May 1993


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer