Flower Duet from Lakme
Léo Delibes (1836 -1891)
Soprano and Alto Sax Duet with Wind Ensemble
Duet Also available with Piano
Flower Duet from Lakme by Léo Delibes arranged for Soprano and Alto Sax Duet with wind ensemble or small concert band. A beautiful, lyrical showpiece for two soloists, the “Flower Duet” from Lakmé by Léo Delibes (1836 -1891) is one of the best known duets from opera. It is one of the most familiar musical numbers any composer, in any genre, has ever written. You can hear it at the movies, on television shows, in elevators and shopping malls, and even in TV commercials. Written in the form of a barcarolle, the duet intertwines two beautiful melodic lines for the soloists over a gentle rocking accompaniment in the piano. Originally for soprano and mezzo-soprano voices, this arrangement is for soprano and alto saxophones (additional soli parts are included for other instruments) and wind ensemble. The soli parts may be used in any combination.
This arrangement of the Flower Duet is for Soprano and Alto Sax Duet with wind ensemble. Watch a video of the wind ensemble version on the VIDEOS tab below. A version for soprano and alto saxophones and piano is available as well.
- The range for each soli saxophone part is shown below.
- Audio and score excerpts are available above.
- Registered users can download a complete sample score and full length audio file of Flower Duet from Lakmé
Sax Duet with Wind Ensemble on the ‘Samples’ tab.
About this arrangement
- This arrangement of the Flower Duet from Lakme was originally created for soprano and alto sax soli with small concert band. It is most effective with only one or two players per part.
- Soli 1 and 2 parts are also included for other C and B-flat instruments as well. They may be used in any combination.
- The piano part is optional. It may be used as a rehearsal part with the soli instruments. There are indications in the part and score for optional cuts if using with a full ensemble. The piano part is especially useful if playing with a small or incomplete ensemble.
- All brass parts may be omitted if using the piano part.
Soli Part 1: B-flat Soprano Saxophone, C Instrument 1 (flute, oboe, violin), B-flat clarinet 1: use soprano saxophone part
Soli Part 2: E-flat Alto Saxophone, C Instrument 2 (flute, oboe, violin), B-flat clarinet 2
Flute 1-2 (3 each – quantities below are for printed parts only)
Oboe 1-2 (1 each)
Bassoon (1 each)
Clarinet 1-3 (3 each)
Bass Clarinet (1 each)
Alto Sax 1-2 (2 each)
Tenor Sax (1 each)
Bari Sax (1 each)
Trumpet 1-2 (2 each)
Horn 1-2 (2 each)
Trombone 1-2 (2 each)
Euphonium/Baritone TC (1 each)
Tuba (2 each)
Double Bass (optional) (1 each)
Bells (optional) (1 each)
Piano (optional, see notes above) (1 each)
The opera Lakme is set in India and French composer Leo Delibes used the music of the “Flower Duet” to conjure the sights and scents of a riverside scene abundant with flowers and the sound of birdsong.
The Flower Duet aria is a barcarolle, a musical depiction of a boat gently rocking on the water. It uses a 6/8 time signature (6 quavers in a bar that you feel as two sets of three in a gently swinging motion). This creates a lilting sensation which is mirrored in the gentle rising and falling of the vocal lines. The two voices spend much of the piece close together, just a third apart, creating harmony that is always pleasing to the ear. In the shape of the melody, we can hear the birdsong that is depicted in the lyrics, as well as the smooth flow of the river.
The piece is instantly recognizable from the many times it’s been used in TV and film. You may have heard it while watching The Simpsons or Parks and Rec. And at the movies, it shows up all the time on soundtracks including such unlikely films as The Angry Birds Movie and Bad Santa.