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This is a work I started end of July and finished early September 2004. At the time I began it, there was no intention of using the old "Westron Wynde" tune but that evolved after a suggestion had been made in my Delian discussion group by its moderator, Joseph Dillon Ford, about using it in a project. I didn't eventually join the project but decided the tune would fit in with what I already composed.

The old tune, was quite well-known in the English Renaissance (Tudor period) and, despite its somewhat risqué text, was the basis for several "Westron Wynde" Masses, particularly of John Taverner (1490-1545), Christopher Tye (c.1505 - 1573 ) and John Sheppard (c.1520-c.1560). It is, in fact, possible that Taverner wrote the original tune. (He is not to be confused with the modern composer, Sir John Tavener.) How the words fit the tune is also unknown; they are as follows in modern English:

Western wind when will thou blow
the small rain down may rain
Christ, if my love were in my arms
and I in my bed again.

Stravinsky set this text to his own music in his "Cantata".

Edward Gold

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