Snow-Covered Earth by Eric Turnnessen

Snow-Covered Earth

Duration: 3' 53"

Composed: December 2001

Dominic Sewell, orchestrator

Listen on Spotify


2 Flutes

2 Oboes

3 Bb Clarinets (3rd doubles Bass Cl)

2 Bassoons

4 Horns in F

3 Trumpets in Bb

2 Trombones

Bass Trombone



Percussion (3 players) (Mark Tree, Suspended Cymbals, Glockenspiel, Triangles, Temple Blocks, Sleigh Bells, Maracas)



Violin I (10)

Violin II (8)

Viola (8)

Cello (6)

Contrabass (4)

Composition Notes

I wrote this piece on a snowy morning in December. I was looking out over a landscape covered by freshly fallen snow. I imagined horse-drawn carriages, ice crystals hanging from rooftops and snow flakes dancing in the wind. I aimed to paint a picture using different instruments such as sleigh bells, wood block and glockenspiel and to compose lines for instruments that evoked snowflakes in the wind or horses trotting along.

Performance Video

Melvin Tay, conductor
First performed on May 27, 2023 by the Northern Film Orchestra

"Fly on the Wall" of the Recording Session

This video offers a "fly on the wall" perspective of the 40 minute recording session. In this session we witness how the conductor works with 60+ musicians to record this piece of music they've never seen before from start to finish.

Original Mockup

Here's the original mockup I created using synthesized instruments back in 2001.