Order of the Cynthian Palm

Don't see anything?  Get the free Myriad plug-in.
Created with Myriad's Harmony Assistant-Virtual Singer.

Free Myriad Plugin

The "l'Homme Armé Variations", though written after the "Scherzo on Westron Wynde" is the first movement of the "Symphonies on Ancient Tunes". (The middle movement the "Fantasia on the Willow Song" was the last composed. No fourth movement is currently planned but I may change my mind.) The text of the 15th century tune on which it's based (often used, as is "Westron Wynde", as the basis for polyphonic Mass settings.) is, in the original French:

L'homme, l'homme, l'homme armé, l'homme armé,
L'homme armé doibt on doubter.
On a fait par tout crier,
Que chascun se viegne armer, d'un haubregon de fer.
L'homme, l'homme, l'homme armé, l'homme armé,
L'homme armé doibt on doubter.

          And it may be translated as:

The man, the man, the armed man,
one must beware the armed man.
the word is that everyone
must arm himself with a hauberk (iron chain-mail vest).
The man, the man, the armed man,
one must beware the armed man.

As you can see, things haven't changed that much from the 15th century!

The Variations begin with an introduction leading into the theme proper (which is quoted rather freely.). The beginning of this introduction is really based on the "Westron Wynde" tune and I've tried to make it as "windy" as possible with the use of a wind sound effect. (In an actual performance, this might be done with soft string slides.) This is followed by a lively pair of variations, a more lyric pair, a gigue, a sicilienne, a fugal section culminating in a rather martial statement of the subject, a partial repeat of the introduction and finally the coda.

I've tried, by the texture, the parallel 5ths, and the percussion, to give the whole piece a medieval feel.

Edward Gold

Download MP3 file (7.3 MB)

Go to Fantasia on the Willow Song

Find Edward Gold on
Classical Music Archives Recognized Contributor

SoundClick Now!
Edward Gold's Wikipedia Page

people have viewed this site
since March 7th, 2006


© Edward Gold