Sunday Afternoon Story: A Different Version of “Le Mort De Arthur”

Incidentally: “To swoon” means “to faint”.

Here I have a different version of  “Le Mort de Arthur.”

Le Mort de Arthur

Here is what is says, in case you can’t read it.

Here is written in letters of gold a tale of yore.

The Lady Guinevere sayeth “Where doth Arthur, Sir Gawain?” And Gawain sayeth onto her “I hath rode far and wide and yet Arthur hath not been found.  So yet if I have to ride for nine moons I will search.”  But nine moons passed and Arthur hath not been found.  Sir Gawain rodeth back to Guinevere and said to her “I hath rode for nine moons and I  hath not found him. I am afraid Le Mort de Arthur has befallen him.”  And Guinevere swooned away.

Classical Sunday: Purcell’s King Arthur

In 1691, Henry Purcell wrote the music for “King Arthur, or The British Worthy”.

King Arthur, or The British Worthy.  A semi-opera by Henry Purcell (1691)

Henry Purcell (10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695) is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers.  Purcell’s legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music.  In 1691, he wrote the music for what is sometimes considered his dramatic masterpiece, King Arthur, or The British Worthy, which is our pick for this beautiful spring Sunday.

King Arthur, or The British Worthy

1-3. King Arthur Overture
4. King Arthur Act I: Woden, First to Thee
5. King Arthur Act I: The Lot is Cast, Brave Souls
6. King Arthur Act I: I Call to Woden’s Hall
7. King Arthur Act I: Come If You Dare – First Act Tune
8. King Arthur Act II: Hither, This Way
9. King Arthur Act II: Let Not a Moon-born Elf
10. King Arthur Act II: Hither, This Way
11. King Arthur Act II: Come, Follow Me
12. King Arthur Act II: How Blest Are Shepherds
13. King Arthur Act II: Symphony – Shepherd, Leave Decoying
14. King Arthur Act II: Come Shepherds, Lead Up – Hornpipe
15. King Arthur Act II: Second Act Tune
16. King Arthur Act III: Prélude – What Ho!
17. King Arthur Act III: What Power Art Thou
18. King Arthur Act III: Thou Doting Fool
19. King Arthur Act III: Great Love
20. King Arthur Act III: No Part of My Dominion
21. King Arthur Act III: Prélude
22. King Arthur Act III: See We Assemble – Dance
23. King Arthur Act III: Tis I That Have Warm’d Ye
24. King Arthur Act III: Sound a Parley – Tis Love
25. King Arthur Act III: Third Act Tune – Hornpipe
26. King Arthur Act IV: Aire
27. King Arthur Act IV: Two Daughters of This Aged Stream
28. King Arthur Act IV: Passacaglia
29. King Arthur Act V: Trumpet Tune
30. King Arthur Act V: Ye Blust’ring Brethren of the Skies
31. King Arthur Act V: Symphony
32. King Arthur Act V: Round Thy Coasts
33. King Arthur Act V: For Folded Flocks
34. King Arthur Act V: Your Hay It Is Mowed
35. King Arthur Act V: Fairest Isle
36. King Arthur Act V: You Say ‘Tis Love
37. King Arthur Act V: Trumpet Tune
38. King Arthur Act V: Saint George
39. King Arthur Act V: Our Natives
40. King Arthur Act V: Chaconne

BarokOpera Amsterdam
Frédérique Chauvet, direction

Wendy Roobol, soprano
Mijke Sekhuis, soprano
Klaartje van Veldhoven, soprano
Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor
Gunther Vandeven, countertenor
Lester Lardenoye, countertenor
Mattijs Hoogendijk, tenor
Joost van Velzen, tenor
Pieter Hendriks, baritone
Ragnar van Linden van den Heuvell, baritone
Bas Kuijlenburg, baritone
Wiebe Pier Cnossen, baritone

Cultured Wednesday: The Springtime Days of the Round Table

A glorious company, the flower of men, /
To serve as model for the mighty world, /
And be the fair beginning of a time.

In Lord Alfred Tennysson‘s Idylls of the King, we have a wonderfully romantic retelling of the ancient tale of the King, with everything you expect to find.

round table
La Quête du Graal: Arrivée de Galaad à la cour Milan, vers 1380-1385. Copié par Albertolus de Porcelis

In old age, Arthur recalled the springtime days of the Round Table and the hopes of glory with which he had begun. 

But I was first of all the kings who drew
The knighthood-errant of this realm and all
The realms together under me, their Head,
In that fair Order of my Table Round,
A glorious company, the flower of men,
To serve as model for the mighty world,
And be the fair beginning of a time.
I made them lay their hands in mine and swear
To reverence the King, as if he were
Their conscience, and their conscience as their King,
To break the heathen and uphold the Christ,
To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,
To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it,
To honour his own word as if his God’s,
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity,
To love one maiden only, cleave to her,
And worship her by years of noble deeds,
Until they won her; for indeed I knew
Of no more subtle master under heaven
Than is the maiden passion for a maid,
Not only to keep down the base in man,
But teach high thought, and amiable words
And courtliness, and the desire of fame,
And love of truth, and all that makes a man.

If you are interested in the Arthurian legend, you might find The Camelot Project of the University of Rochester to be of interest.

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