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Henry Purcell - King Arthur

Henry Purcell - King Arthur

Valletta Baroque Festival 2024



Ensemble: Vox Luminis          

Text: Isaline Claeys & Simon Robson

Actor: Simon Robson    

Concertmaster: Tuomo Suni Artistic Direction: Lionel Meunier



Henry Purcell (1659-1695) 

King Arthur


First Music: Overture

Second Music: Aire



Act I

Altar Music

Woden, First To Thee

The White Horse Neigh'd Aloud

The Lot Is Cast

Brave Souls

I Call, I Call

Come If You Dare

First Act Tune


Act II

Hither, This Way

Let Not A Moon-Born Elf

Hither, This Way

Come, Follow Me

How Bleck Are Shepherds

Shepherd, Shepherd, Leave Decoying

Come, Shepherds, Lead UpHornpipe

Second Act Tune: Aire




Prelude To The Frost Scene

What Ho! Thou Genius Of This Isle

What Power Art Thou

Thou Doting Fool

Great Love, I Know Thee Now

No Part Of My Dominion Shall Be Waste


See We Assemble Thy Revels To Hold


'Tis I That Have Warm'd YeSound A Parley

'Tis Love That Has Warm'd Us

BoréeThird Act Tune: Hornpipe

Act IV


Soft Musick

Two Daughters Of This Aged Stream

Passacaglia: How Happy The Lover

In Vain Are Our Graces

Fourth Act Tune: Trumpet Time


Act V

Ye Blust'ring Brethren


Song Tune: Round Thy Coasts

For Folded Flocks

Song Tune: Your Hay It Is Mow'd

Song Tune: Fairest Isle

You Say, 'Tis Love

Trumpet Tune

Saint George, The Patron Of Our Isle

Our Natives Note Alone Appear

Grand Dance: Chaconne

Programme Notes


King Arthur and his associate Merlin have caused much ink to flow, but under the pen of John Dryden and with the music of Henry Purcell their story takes an entirely new turn. The text retraces the chapter in British history in which the Saxons, seeking to reconquer their territory, attack the Britons on St George’s Day. In absolute terms, the subject is the forces of Nature challenged by human stupidity: possession, gain and wickedness. King Arthur enjoyed such success that it was regularly revived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Here Vox Luminis presents it in a new light. Wild and gentle, the beings ‘without being’ hide in the enchanted forest and sing of love, sunlight on moss and the awakening of the senses, and caress the traveller’s skin with their voices.

14 January 2024
Teatru Manoel, Valletta
€10 - €40
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Valletta Baroque Festival 2024

Henry Purcell - King Arthur

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