About the piece

1. morning star
2. the watchman
3. the jealous one
4. the lark/first light
5. dawn

Alba is loosely based on the most famous troubadour abla, or dawn song, Reis Glorios, by Giraut de Bornelh (c.1140 – 1200). The poem, like most albas, reflects on the closing of a tryst at the end of the night as dawn approaches. Each movement reflects an aspect of the poem; the various natural phenomena heralding the dawn, the patiently waiting friend, the jealous husband. The opening harmonies set out by the first seven notes of the original tune influence the harmonies of the other movements in various ways. The bird of the fourth movement, mentioned in the third stanza, is the lark, as later referred to in the classic alba type situation in Romeo and Juliet , Act II, scene 5, “It was the lark, the herald of the morn, No nightingale”. I am a west–coaster, so I chose to use the western meadowlark, and I transcribed a lark call for the trumpet part of the fourth movement. The final movement is a transcription and arrangement of the original troubadour tune Reis Glorios.


Ryan Gardner, trumpet; Louisa Ellis Woodson, harp

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trumpet and harp


10 minutes

year written


commissioned by

Ryan Gardner

Sheet Music Format

PDF, 8.5 x 11"

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