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A Musical Tribute: Riccardo Pes’s “Lament for the Tree” Echoes Through Sycamore Gap

Lament at Sycamore Gap

Riccardo Pes at Sycamore Gap

Italian cellist-composer Riccardo Pes playing his “Lament for the Tree” at Sycamore Gap. 6 October 2023. Photo courtesy Riccardo Pes.

In a poignant display of sorrow, Italian cellist-composer Riccardo Pes journeyed across borders and braved adversities to serenade the fallen tree at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland, England, with his newest composition, “Lament for the Tree,” on 6 October 2023.

Despite transportation strikes, inclement weather, and a challenging hike to the site, Pes’s determination prevailed. In the presence of the ancient tree’s remains, he expressed his grief through his poignant melody on the cello, honoring the centuries-old tree that fell victim to senseless vandalism.

Listen to Riccardo Pes’s “Lament for the Tree”

Here is Pes’s gorgeous “Lament for the Tree,” his latest composition that was inspired by the famous tree at Sycamore Gap. In the video, you can hear one of the last recordings ever made of the sound of the wind blowing through the leaves of this iconic tree as Pes performs his lament. We hope he will make the sheet music available soon, so cellists worldwide can play it, too.

Crafting Cellos from the Fallen Giant

Fallen Giant at Sycamore Gap

Fallen Giant at Sycamore Gap, 6 October 2023. Photo by Riccardo Pes.

We hope a luthier will be allowed to make cellos from the fallen tree and allow its voice to live on, even after this tragic loss. We suggest holding a festival every year, playing these instruments to raise awareness and funds to promote environmental issues, particularly planting trees.

Of course, this author would love to see a cello orchestra perform in this capacity, but perhaps a Sycamore Gap string quartet or cello quintet might be more manageable. In this way, the tree would live on through the sounds of the instruments.

Pes’s Documentary

Follow Pes on his amazing adventure to perform his lament for the fallen tree.


Free Sheet Music for “Lament for the Tree”

For a limited time, Riccardo Pes has generously offered the sheet music for anyone to download for free, asking only that those downloading the music consider making a donation to the tree-planting charity, One Tree Planted. Please let us know if you perform it – we’d love to see this work performed around the world.

Love at First Listen: Exploring the Work of Riccardo Pes

Want to learn more about Riccardo Pes and his compositions? My personal journey with Pes’s music began in early 2020 when I stumbled upon his unaccompanied rendition of Bepi De Marzi’s “Signore delle Cime.” It was love at first listen for me. For an in-depth exploration of Pes’s work, read my interview with this Italian cellist-composer here.

With his interdisciplinary approach to writing and performing music, and his advocacy of environmental issues, we’re watching the career of this inspired and extremely talented young cellist-composer with interest.

How to Follow and Support Riccardo Pes

Riccardo Pes. Photo: Francesco Fratto

Riccardo Pes. Photo: Francesco Fratto

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