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A Musical Work in Progress
by Angelee Sailer Anderson

Excalibur title text
detail from illustration by Howard Pyle

The next major musical project I have planned, and which I have composed all the main themes for, will be an expression of my love for Arthurian legend. The music will be orchestral, with horns and harp being the primary featured instruments, and will follow fairly closely the classical structure for a symphony, with four movements and two major themes per movement.

Thematically, I imagine the structure of the Symphony as follows:

  • Movement One: Excalibur
    • Theme One: Arthur
    • Theme Two: Merlin

  • Movement Two: The Table Round
    • Theme One: Gawain
    • Theme Two: Gareth

  • Movement Three: The Sangreal
    • Theme One: Launcelot and Elaine
    • Theme Two: Galahad

  • Movement Four: Avalon
    • Theme One: Lady of the Lake
    • Theme Two: Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus

The following lyrics were composed for the Symphony's "Lady of the Lake" theme:

Who shall draw the Sword from the stone
In these weak-willed days when wantons abound;
Who'll for that Dolorous Stroke atone
When brother-spilled blood cries out from the ground?
Now none can still the bells tolling,
Halt the stars falling in ruin around.

Who dares sit in the Perilous Siege
And finish the tale of the Table Round?
For Launcelot has sinned with the queen,
And Tristan in Mark's bride lays his pride down
Here under Logres' moon reddening:
Loyal hearts deadening 'neath Camelot's crown.

Who'll bring to bay the Questing Beast
Or pour out his life to seek the Sangreal?
Though law and magic herself should cease,
Merlin's voice yet shall rend its earth-gaol,
The hope of Galahad telling:
Faithful heart welling with love to prevail.

From the lake, the Sword's light will rise
And majesty wake on Avalon's shore;
Then Mordred, bastard and prince of lies,
Will feel its point's kiss. And then as before
Shall one man set the bells ringing,
Rouse the stars' singing: "Arthur reigns once more."

( 1998 by Angelee Sailer Anderson)

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