A Song of Canute (1999)
TTBB and piano. Duration 8 mins
These three dramatic but humorous episodes in the life of the great king, to texts by Thackeray and the composer, tell us first of all how the elderly King Canute was tiring of life as, no longer young, he even yawned while his favourite male voice choir was performing. The second movement tells of all the victories he had won – but, as the third movement tells us, there was one thing left to do – conquer the sea! Sadly, however, the sea disobeyed his commands, and ‘King Canute is dead and gone, but the legend still lives on’.
The story is untrue, of course, but if it happened, though it probably didn’t, it would have been in the vicinity of the Battle of Ashingdon, near to the town of South Woodham Ferrers, Essex – and the songs were commissioned by the South Woodham Ferrers Male Voice Choir, conductor Fred Dyer, and first performed on June 25th 1999 in the Great Bursted Festival.
The score is available world-wide as a digital download (pdf) from Sheet Music Direct, or Sheet Music Plus (prices vary, so do check both sites). Minimum order 10 copies
Printed copies only to special order (minimum 10) – contact Colne Edition