The Juniper Tree

for flute choir

2015 National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir

Written for and dedicated to the Gainesville Flute Ensemble.

Amanda Davis Carreon, director

Program Note:

In my opinion, The Juniper Tree is the darkest of all the Grimm Fairy Tales. A mother dies after giving birth to a son. She is buried under a juniper tree. The boy’s father eventually remarries, but the stepmother is wicked. The son is beheaded by his wicked stepmother who then proceeds to cook him and feed him to her family. His bones are buried under the same juniper tree, and he is immediately transformed into a beautiful bird. The bird flies away and sings a beautiful song to a goldsmith and collects a gold chain. He then sings his beautiful song to a shoemaker and collects a pair of red shoes. Finally, he sings his beautiful song to a miller and is given the millstone. The bird then returns to his home and begins to sing his beautiful song. The father goes outside to hear the song and receives the gold chain. The daughter does the same and is given the red shoes. When the wicked stepmother walks outside to listen to the beautiful song, the bird crushes her to death with the millstone. After her death, the bird turns back into a boy, the family is reunited, and they all live happily ever after.

The form of the piece is a five-part rondo (ABACA). Each section is intended to depict a portion of the story:

A – The mother’s prayer to conceive
B – The wicked stepmother
A – The death of the son and his transformation into a bird
C – The bird’s flight to collect three items and stepmother’s death
A – The bird’s transformation back into a boy and the family reunited

Leave a Reply