Last updated January 2016 Copyright © Green Branch 2004 -
Composer: Tim Porter. Folk Opera,1971
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is based on the fine fourteenth-
All sorts of undercurrents run artlessly concealed in the traditional tale of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". Beneath its mirthful exterior, roots reach deep into Celtic myth. Irishmen will recognise it as an incident in the ancient saga of Cuchullain. The form in which it is best known, however, is a fourteenth century English poem, which treats it with remarkable imagination, and adds to it the element of "courtly love", as obligatory to the mediaeval storyteller as the "love interest" to a modern film-
This version attempts to combine the flavour of the mediaeval romance with that of the basic myth, so that we sense the mysteries of the seasons and rebirth at work within the lively tale. The way in which I have tried to do this is by presenting the action through the efforts of a band of wandering players, people who because of their closeness to the soil cannot help bringing out the essential qualities of the story. This they do with their dances and songs.
country dance band
Note: originally the piece was written for a much larger orchestra.