If You Could Only See the Frog

Concert Band

Duration: 7 minutes

2 Flutes
2 Oboes
2 Bassoons
Eb Clarinet
3 Clarinets in Bb
Bass Clarinet
Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
3 Trumpets in Bb
4 Horns in F
2 Trombones
Bass Trombone
Double Bass
6 Percussion

“Si Veriash a la Rana” (“If You Could Only See the Frog”) is the title of a children’s song from Bulgaria sung by exiled Jews in the Spanish-Jewish dialect of Ladino:

If you could only see the little frog sitting on the oven, frying her fritas and sharing with her sisters!
If you could only see the little mouse sitting in the corner, shelling walnuts and sharing with her sisters!
If you could only see the little camel sitting on the dough-board, rolling out filo thinner than hair!

The deceptively simple and playful tune stems from a wide range of cultural influences, combining typically Ladino melodic figurations with a traditional Bulgarian metric construction, punctuated by a curious refrain in Turkish that simply means, “I love you so much”.
This concert band piece is a percussion-driven exploration of this infectious and time-tested melody.

Commissioned by the Saint Mary’s University Concert Band, Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, director, with generous support from the Sam & Helen Kaplan Foundation

Recorded by The University of Florida Wind Symphony, 2013.


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