Kubla Khan (Philip Legge)

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  • (Posted 2006-01-15)  CPDL #10750:   
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2006-01-15).   Score information: A4, 22 pages, 1.03 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Large vocal score (VS over 1 MB). Vocal score may be freely distributed, duplicated, performed, and recorded. I have revoked the need to seek permission to contact me in order to publicly perform or record the work (from the VS). If in doubt, see the Creative Commons no derivatives licences. However, I strongly suggest it would be nice to let me know if you plan to do either, since the recording of the première performance was far from perfect, but it's the only one in existence, to my knowledge. You will still need to contact me to obtain the FS, harp, and flute parts if you wish to perform it that way.

General Information

Title: Kubla Khan
Composer: Philip Legge
Lyricist: Samuel Taylor Coleridge , 1798

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB, choir, and soprano solo
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: 2 flutes, orchestral harp

First published:
Description: for soprano solo, mixed-voice choir, flutes, and orchestral harp. An electronic keyboard with a full set of octaves and a decent harp-like timbre may substitute in place of harp.

External websites:

Text and translations

English.png English text

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves:
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.