Love's Red Rose
Composition Date: 2011
Love’s Red Rose was orginally part of a larger work called Gaol's Ruadh Rús, a double harp concerto written for Nora Bumanis and Julia Shaw, who perform together often as the Paragon Harp Duo. In 2001, I was asked by Nora, Principal Harp for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, if I would be interested in writing a double harp concerto for her and Julia. Her only stipulation was that I incorporate the Robert Burns song My Love is Like a Red Red Rose. This idea arose because, at this particular time, Nora had just performed this piece at a memorial service for Nancy Fairley, a long-time and beloved member of the ESO Board of Governors. At first, I thought I would just hint at the tune, but as the work grew, it became the central material of the slow section and led me to call the entire concerto Gaol's Ruadh Rús, which is Gaelic for Love's Red Rose. After the premiere, I adapted the slow section as a stand-alone duet for two harps. In 2011, I re-orchestrated that version for the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia.
This piece begins with bold chords stated with a rhythm known as the "Scottish Snap," which lead into my setting of My Love is Like a Red Red Rose.