Morte d’Arthur



Excalibur Lady of the Lake
Morte d’Arthur for Narrator and Orchestra

This is Wilkinson’s dramatic musical setting for narrator and orchestra of Alfred Tennyson’s poem of the Arthurian legend. The work opens in the midst of the Celtic battle of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. While laying mortally wounded, King Arthur beseeches Sir Bedivere to take his sword, Excalibur, and to throw Excalibur into the lake.

Twice Sir Bedivere fails to cast away the magnificent sword coveting it for himself. King Arthur disbelieves his Knight’s tale that he has done as commanded. Finally, Sir Bedivere hurls Excalibur into the lake. Miraculously, an arm rises up from the lake, takes the sword and, brandishing it, pulls it under the waves. When the dying king sees in Sir Bedivere’s eyes that the deed is done, he passes peacefully. Placed in a barge, King Arthur disappears through the mists across the lake.

The Orchestra

The work is for narrator and orchestra: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Cor Anglais, 2 Clarinets in Bb, Bass Clarinet in Bb, 2 Bassoons, Contra Bassoon, 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in Bb, 2 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, 3 Percussion, (Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tenor Drum, Tam Tam, Clashed Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal, Whip, 3 Wood Blocks, Maracas, Triangle, Wind Chimes, Wind Tube, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Tubular Bell in C#), 4-part female voices and/or keyboard/vocal synthesizer, Piano, Harp, and a full complement of Strings.

The Publication

The duration of the work is approximately 25 minutes while it is suitable for youth audiences and youth orchestra performance. The full scores, A4 study score and A3 Orchestral score. The text comes directly from the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson for the narration are available from the publisher United Music Publishing Ltd.

The orchestral parts are also available for hire from UMP Ltd.

Related Works

Visit the Compositions Page for other orchestral works.  For Narrator and Orchestra, see Tom Sawyer’s Treasure Adventure, which is suitable for younger audiences. Other orchestral works include, Symphony No. 2, a large-scale work with optional Organ for church and cathedral performances, and the Concerto for Flute and Orchestra. Coming soon, will be a full-scale orchestral setting of the Christmas Carol, O Come All Ye Faithful, including fanfare, introductions and verses.

Links to all works are listed on the Publications Page.

Read about the composer.

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