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Judith Weir

Publisher: Chester Music

The King of France (1993)
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
8 Minutes
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Programme Note
Judith Weir The King of France (1993)
I once made some transcriptions of Spanish/Arabic folk music for a theatre piece about the Crusades. One of these tunes has haunted me ever since - EL REY DE FRANCIA, sung by Sephardic Jews at the time of their exile.

The King of France is a set of variations on this tune. Although the musical processes are abstract ones, there is perhaps a hint of the tune's Spanish background in the dry, brittle textures of some of the later variations. The piece lasts about eight minutes.

The King of France was written for Susan Tomes in 1993.

© Judith Weir

Score sample

  • Ensemble
    William Howard / Petra Casen
    Collins Classics:
  • Ensemble
    Schubert Ensemble
    William Howard, Susan Tomes, Petra
Only a handful of senior European composers is heard with any frequency in the states, so Cube's opening concert of the South Loop New Music Festival at Curtiss Hall Friday came as a welcome sampler of modern European music. Big names were not absent. Judith Weir's piano work 'The King of France' employed Spanish/Arabic folk music, balancing inventive craftmanship with a bracing improvisatory sensibility.
Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune,11/04/2005
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