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Reflections on a Sixteenth Century Tune

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Richard Rodney Bennett

Richard Rodney Bennett

Subtitle: For Double Wind Quintet

General Info

Year: 1999
Duration: c. 15:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Novello & Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $130.00


1. Theme: Lento – 2:05
2. Variation I: Alleghretto – 1:55
3. Variation II: Allegro Vivo – 2:35
4. Variation III: Andante (Homage to Peter Warlock) – 2:40
5. Variation IV: Con Brio e Ritmico – 2:25
6. Finale – 3:30


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
Horn in F I-II


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Reflections on a 16th Century Tune is based on the 16th century French popular song, A l’ombre d’un buissonet, first printed in La Couronne et Fleur (1536), and was originally commissioned for string orchestra and premièred at an ESTA Conference in 2001. The composer later transcribed it for double wind quintet. Like Bennett’s first work for wind ensemble, Morning Music, it is a set of variations (or reflections): Prelude: Lento, Variation 1: Allegretto. Variation II: Allegro Vivo, Variation III Andante (Homage to Peter Warlock), Variation IV: Con brio e ritmico, Finale.

The theme is stated immediately, the first two strains on the high woodwind quartet over sonorous shifting chords in the low sextet, the last four phrases shared between horns and the woods. Variation I is a fleet allegretto in triple time over a rocking accompaniment; it winds gently down to Variation II, an extensive allegro vivo of considerable energy and wit.

Variation III is dedicated to the composer and author, Peter Warlock, a pen-name for Philip Heseltine. In his writings he did much to re-establish interest in Elizabethan music, he championed many composers especially Delius, and he left a handful of compositions, the best known being the Capriol Suite. Bennett’s Homage is a gentle andante in triple time; building in intensity before dying away with the so-called “English cadence” caused by false relations, here, a flattened 3rd and 7th resolving on to a major Bb.

Variation IV is lively and energetic in 6/8 time alternating with three, with a section in 5/8 and 7/8 providing a link straight into the finale. Here the theme is restated, maestoso and loud, broken up by little syncopated canons, gradually moving seamlessly into the dolce cantabile version which we heard in the Prelude, dying away to a unison G.

- Program Note from liner notes of Mark Record CD Tim Reynish Live in Concert, Volume 4.

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Kevin Geraldi, conductor) - 4 November 2022
  • Cleveland (Ohio) State University Winds Ensemble (Tim Reynish, conductor) – 14 November 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Bennett, R. (1999). Reflections on a Sixteenth Century Tune : For Double Wind Quintet [score]. Novello and Co.: London.