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Narcissus for Solo Flute with Digital Delay

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  • Highly recommended

From the Publisher

Composer's Notes

Narcissus wanders through the forest, observing, enjoying ... unselfconscious but self-absorbed.

He sees as pool of water and then as he approaches notices his reflection in the water. He is intrigued and then jumps back in fright. Once more he approaches ... it is still there. Narcissus steps away from the pool to consider this phenomenon. Several times he approaches, the figure is always there watching him.

In the shimmering sunlight Narcissus seems to see this glorious and attractive being moving in the rippling water. He is dazzled and slowly holds out his arms. To his amazement the figure responds.

In awe and wonder Narcissus approaches closer and closer. With a sudden change of mood Narcissus dances happily and playfully ... the figure echoing him. But then, Narcissus begins to question anxiously the lack of any independent he being mocked? He gets more and more aggitated and finally in a fury he rushes headlong into the water to grapple with the figure. The waves surge up and Narcissus is drowned. There is a distant shimmering vision of Narcissus and his reflection. Then in the setting sun the vision disappears, the forest is empty and the pool lies undisturbed.

Thea Musgrave

Critical Acclaim

" her practical, deft and imaginative best...a solo rhapsody upon the classical legend in which, as echoes and reflections enter the narrative, the flute part is enriched by ravishing self echoes and reflections expertly timed. This is a piece that flute players the world over are going to seize on gratefully..."
— Max Loppert, The Times (London)

" imaginative and beautiful tone poem, with a program...Musgrave is a composer who unites Scottish common sense and practicality with a vein of high Celtic romance..."
— Andrew Porter, The New Yorker

Information on the Digital Delay can be found here:


Performance duration (approx): 18'

Difficulty guide: 9
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).

Item Details


  • Part 1: Flute
Category: Music for Flute and Electronics
Publisher: Novello and Co
Publisher's reference: NOV120655
Our Stock Code: 1049329
Media Type: Paperback (32 pages [score])