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Avalon is the legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend. It was the place where King Arthur's sword Excalibur was forged and later where Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann.
The composition’s structure is more influenced by the rhetorical device of anaphora than by any specific musical form. Anaphora consists of a repeated sequence of words that begins a series of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis. The open motive, stated by the trumpet alone, is the anaphora phrase that represents the magical and mysterious qualities of Avalon. It occurs three additional times in its entirety, though slightly transformed by the use of additional harmony. It also permeates other parts of the composition, but in a less recognizable fashion. Each time it is used, the material that follows it develops freely.
The other unifying device used is a figure of a dotted eighth and sixteenth followed a long note a perfect fifth higher. This motive represents the sword Excalibur and all the good deeds King Arthur is known for. It appears seven times during the composition, mostly in a gentle context that only hints of the heroic deeds to come. Around two-thirds through the composition, the motive develops into its full-blown heroic nature. It is also used as the final notes, sounding a benediction to the work of King Arthur.
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