The Legend of King Herla Robert Saxton

The Legend of King Herla cover
Duration
14 mins
Composed
2015
Published
2015
Categories

Solos, Duos & Trios Duos

Instrumentation
1 Flute, 1 Harp

Purchasing options

Score and part ISMN 57036-636-1 £29.95 Buy now

flute and harp

Programme note

The Legend of King Herla was commissioned by Antara, Thomas Hancox (flute) and Rachel Wick (harp), with funds provided by the Performing Rights Society and the RVW Trust. The first performance was given at Painswick Music Club on 25th April 2015.

Herla, a king of the Britons, meets with an unnamed dwarven/elf king with a great, red beard and goat’s hooves, mounted on a goat. They make a pact: if the latter attends Herla’s wedding. Herla will reciprocate precisely one year later. The elf king, with a vast host and bearing gifts, attends Herla’s wedding, attending to the guests to such an extent that Herla’s own preparations remain untouched. The elf king reminds Herla of his promise and departs. A year passes and Herla attends the elf king’s wedding, also bearing gifts; his party enters an opening in a high cliff, passing through a dark tunnel, emerging into a brightly lit realm. After the three-day wedding ceremony, as Herla and his party/knights prepare to depart, the elf king presents them with a bloodhound, instructing that none should dismount his horse before the dog leaps down. On re-entering the human realm, Herla’s troop encounter an elderly shepherd, whom Herla asks for news of his Queen. The old man replies: ‘I can barely understand your speech, for I am a Saxon and you are a Briton’. The shepherd proceeds to describe a legend of an ancient queen of the Britons bearing the name mentioned (the wife of King Herla) who had disappeared with a dwarven/elf king into a cliff and who had never been seen again. He added that, currently, the Saxons had been in charge of the kingdom for the last two hundred years and had driven out the native Britons. Herla’s men dismount only to crumble quickly into dust, leaving Herla to become an eternal wanderer. Some said that Herla and his band plunged into the River Wye during the first year of the reign of King Henry II (1133) and have not been seen since.

Premiere
Antara Duo (Thomas Hancox and Rachel Wick), Painswick Music Society, 25th April 2015
Performances
  • 26 Aug 2017 |

    St Stephen’s Church, Old Radnor

    |

    Presteigne Festival

    Katherine Baker (flute)

    Suzy Willison-Kawalec (harp)

  • 19 Dec 2016 | 7:00pm |

    Lauderdale House, Highgate, London

    |

    Tom Hancox, flute and Rachel Wicks, harp

  • 10 Jan 2016 | 4:00pm |

    Stour Valley Arts & Music, Constable Hall, Gandish Road, East Bergholt, CO7 6TP

    |

    Antara Duo

  • 12 Nov 2015 | 7:30pm |

    Grimsby Concert Society, Grimsby Central Hall, Duncombe Street, Grimsby, DN32 7EG

    |

    Antara Duo

  • 11 Nov 2015 | 7:30pm |

    Chester Music Society, St Mary's Centre, St Mary's Hill, Chester, CH1 2DW

    |

    Antara Duo

  • 10 Nov 2015 | 7:30pm |

    Chipping Sodbury Music Society, Town Hall, Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, BS37 6AD

    |

    Antara Duo

  • 8 Nov 2015 | 3:00pm |

    Weymouth Music Club, Weymouth Bay Methodist Church, 32 Melcombe Avenue, Weymouth, DT4 7TH

    |

    Antara Duo

  • 22 May 2015 | 7:30pm |

    Matlock Music, Wheeldon Hall, Highfields School, Lumsdale, Matlock

    |

    Antara Duo

  • 25 Apr 2015 |

    Painswick Music Society

    |

    Antara Duo