The Destiny of the Swan Knight

The Destiny of the Swan Knight

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Since the Middle Ages many stories have been told about a mysterious swan knight. In these tales he is called Lohengrin, Helias
and Elius. No one knows his real name. Heyendael Castle in Nijmegen is the setting of one of these Swan Knight sagas, a story
dating from the Crusades.
At the end of one day, as the sun was slowly setting, a ship appeared on the Waal river at Nijmegen. An unknown blue flag with a
golden swan insignia was flying high in the mast. The tall figure of a nobleman appeared at the edge of the railing. His clothing
seemed oriental, his complexion was dark and his clothes were like his hair and eyes, jet-black. The strange nobleman went
ashore and asked directions to Heyendael Castle. A gold coin was shoved in the hand of a willing guide. The castle was the
property of Count (Diederik) Derek. Since the few years that he went to the Holy Land to fight in the Crusades, the castle had
been run by his daughter Beatrice. The mysterious nobleman announced himself to Beatrice saying that he had a message from
her father. She immediately received him. The dark Swan Knight told her stories of the many battles he and her father had fought
side by side. During the Holy struggle many comrades had lost their lives at the stroke of Turkish scimitars and even more Turks
perished through their arrows and lances. He told her how much her father longed to see her again. An oath to sacrifice the rest of
his life serving God in the struggle of the Holy Land alas prevented him from returning. The nobleman then handed Beatrice a
note from her father. This note consisted of only two phrases: “I love you,” and “If this Swan Knight should attract your fancy, I will
give him your hand in marriage.” Beatrice asked for a few weeks to contemplate. After getting over the terrible news and having
the opportunity to get acquainted with the knight, she obliged and accepted her father’s request.
The Swan Knight was delighted but then spoke earnestly: “First I must confess. My name is not Elius. My real name may never be
known to You. I ask You to trust me and never attempt to solve the mystery of my name. If You should ignore my request and
succeed, our bond of love will be broken forever and You shall never see me again.” Beatrice eagerly took this vow and shortly
after they were married. This was the happiest period of their lives. They were blessed with three healthy sons and were very
much in love.
In the beginning Beatrice had no problem in keeping her vow. As the years went by her curiosity started to grow and she began
looking for clues. One day a young minstrel arrived at the castle. He told her how he had sung for Count Derek in the far away
Holy Land. Beatrice asked him if he also knew the Swan Knight. This way Beatrice was able to find out the real identity of her
mysterious groom. When the Swan Knight returned home that evening and Beatrice confronted him by calling out his real name
his heart petrified. After a long silence he spoke: ““Once after a dreadful battle I was sitting at the edge of a small pond. Two of my
best friends had been killed and I cried out: “God, I have lost faith in You!”. At that moment a white swan swam close to him and
said: “One must have faith. He who loses the ability to trust others also loses himself. From this day on you will become a
wandering knight.Only if a beloved is able to place all her faith in You will You find peace. As proof of her trust she must never
know Your name. If she should attempt to find out, the bond of love will be broken and she will never see You again.”” After he
had spoken, the Swan Knight left Heyendael Castle. On board of his ship, the blue flag with the golden swan insignia flying high in
the mast, he sailed down the river to distant places.


  • Piccolo
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Bassoon
  • Bb Clarinet 1-3
  • Bb Bass Clarinet
  • Eb Alto Saxophone 1-2
  • Bb Tenor Saxophone
  • Eb Baritone  Saxophone
  • Bb Trumpet 1-3
  • F Horn 1-4
  • C Trombone 1-3
  • C Euphonium (BC)
  • C Bass
  • Timpani
  • Percussion 1-3

Additional part: 

  • Eb Horn 1-2
  • Eb Horn 3-4
  • Bb Trombone (TC) 1-3
  • Bb Trombone (TC) 1-3
  • Bb Baritone (TC)
  • Bb Baritone (BC)
  • Eb Bass (TC)
  • Eb Bass (BC)
  • Bb Bass (TC)
  • Bb Bass (BC)


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