• Judith Weir
  • The Romance of Count Arnaldos (1989)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • 2cl/va.vc.db
  • Soprano
  • 3 min

Programme Note

Who could have had such fortune on the waters of the sea
As had Count Arnoldos on the morning of St John’s Day!
With a falcon on his fist he was going out hunting
When he saw a galley approaching trying to make land.
Its sails were of silk and its shrouds were of fine crepe
And the sailor who commanded it came singing a song
Which made the sea calm and made the winds die down
And mad the fish that swim in the deep rise to the surface
And the birds that fly past perch n the mast.
Then Count Arnoldos spoke indeed, you shall hear what he said:
‘I beg of you in God’s name, sailor tell me now this song of yours.’
The sailor only answered him and this is the answer he gave:
‘I only tell this song to those who come with me.’

Judith Weir writes "The words of my song seem to say something of what I feel about songs and singing. Like the fish and the birds in the poem, I have often been entranced by particular songs – perhaps playing a single band on a record over and over again. Like Count Arnoldos, I have eagerly tried to analyse how the music of the song works. But, like the sailor, I now realise that if a song is entrancing, it is probably something to do with the singer.”

© Judith Weir


Songs from the Exotic: The Romance of Count Arnaldos


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