Red Poppy and the Yellow Rose
for Clarinet Ensemble
Commissioned by Guido Six and the Claribel Clarinet Choir, Conservatory aan Zee, Ostend, Belgium. Premiered at the Texas Music Educators Convention in San Antonio, Texas, in February, 2010.
Recorded by Claribel Clarinet Choir, 2011
Available on the CD Red Poppy and the Yellow Rose. Request from Contact Page
Red Poppy and the Yellow Rose
  • Clarinet Quartet a - Eb; Bb 1,2; Bass
  • Clarinet Quartet b - Eb; Bb 1,2; Bass
  • Eb Clarinet
  • Bb Clarinets 1,2,3
  • Bass Clarinets
  • Alto Clarinets
  • Contra-alto Clarinet
  • Contrabass Clarinet
Duration: 6 minutes
Full Score (11 x 17) pdf
To order parts or printed score, please see contact page
Composer's Notes:
The Red Poppy and the Yellow Rose was commissioned by Guido Six, clarinetist and Director of the Conservatory aan Zee and the Claribel Clarinet Ensemble of Ostende, Belgium.

The title is a reference to the national flower of Belgium, the red poppy, and the unofficial symbolic flower of song, the Yellow Rose of Texas. The composition represents the friendship of the Belgian and Texan musicians who first played the piece at a featured performance at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in 2010.

The work contains many elements of a vague programmatic nature reflecting the history and culture of Belgium, including the visual image of fields of flowers moving gently in the wind, the memory of the many brave men who died in the Battle of Ypres in World War I, and a hint of gypsy folk dancing that is still a part of the vibrant culture of both Belgium and Texas. Most importantly, it is about the common joy of music and love of life that makes us all brothers on this planet.
- James Scott Balentine