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Plant Focus

Music to Watch Oaks By

We recently received via the IOS website a message form an oak enthusiast in Latvia:

Greetings from Latvia!

My name is Igor, I am 66 years old, I teach English and translate. I do not happen to belong to any group of oak lovers or nature conservationists, but I always liked oaks. The tree is just a magnificent testament to life power, stamina, and tenacity. Latvia is the country of oaks, they are everywhere, so a while ago, sitting in one of the city parks, I had a provoking thought: what would it be like to try to express the idea of an oak tree musically. Somewhat risky undertaking, one would say, as I am not a professional musician.

In a nutshell, I recorded my own composition in which I tried to express the idea of an oak, calling it simply "The Tree", and illustrating it with the photos of Latvian oaks, taken in Latvian Botanical Garden and the city parks of Riga.

 

I just thought the tune might prove curious to the people who devote a substantial part of their lives to the tree.

Yours sincerely,

Igor Kukushkin
 

There are other instances of oaks in music, but apparently few and far between. A note on this website covers mentions of oaks in opera, and we found two other musical compositions that aim to portray oaks:

"The Oak", a symphonic poem composted in 1943 by Florence Price, an African-American composer born in 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price and educated at the New England Conservatory of Music. She was active in Chicago from 1927 until her death in 1953.

"The Oak Tree" by Jean Sibelius (1865–1957), a Finnish composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. The piece is from his Op. 109, The Tempest (Stormen), which is incidental music to Shakespeare's play of that name.

Any readers know of any other musical species inspired by oaks? (IOS members can comment below, after logging in).