Die Ersten Blumen by Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond
(b. 1951)
Die Ersten Blumen

Note by the composer
Die Ersten Blumen was written at the request of the Ulster Orchestra for its tour of Germany in October 1996 with Austrian born conductor Gunther Bauer-Schenk.

The piece is a nostalgic and romantically melancholic response to a poem by Hermann Hesse who has always been one of my favourite authors since I read Narziß und Goldmund. The following translation of the poem is by James Wright and is taken from his selection of Hesse poetry published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux (New York, 1970).

The First Flowers
Beside the brook
Toward the willows,
During these days
So many yellow flowers have opened
Their eyes into gold.
I have long since lost my innocence, yet a memory
Touches my depth, the golden hours of morning, and gazes
Brilliantly upon me out of the eyes of flowers.
I was going to pick flowers;
Now I leave them all standing
And walk home, an old man.


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