Wedding Fever ….. THE MUSIC
I don’t suppose it has escaped anyone’s notice that there is a wedding today. Wall to wall press and media coverage throughout much of the world will see to that. Some will want to watch the wedding on television for the spectacle and, let’s face it, we British do Pomp and Ceremony very well indeed having had many centuries of practice. But if you are visiting these pages then it is most likely that your interest won’t lie in the dignitaries, the Monarchy, the weather or THE DRESS but in the music. So, for we few who may wish to know here is a breakdown of all the music which will be featured at The Wedding.
Westminster Abbey has seen Royal coronations, funerals and weddings for a thousand years. It is a huge building and it will take hours to seat the guests so there will be ” entertainment ” whilst they are waiting for the main event. Before the service they will hear organ music played by James McVinnie, Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey,
Fantasia in G (Pièce d’orgue à 5) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Veni Creator Spiritus by the Master of The Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Prelude on St. Columba Op. 28 by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
Sonata for Organ Op. 28 (Allegro maestoso and Allegretto) by Edward Elgar
The orchestra for the service is The London Chamber Orchestra,
conducted by Christopher Warren-Green and they will play ……
Serenade for Strings in E minor Op. 20 (Allegro piacevole, Larghetto and Allegretto) by Edward Elgar
Courtly Dance V: Galliard from Gloriana (Symphonic Suite) Op. 53a no. 7 by Benjamin Britten
Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Farewell to Stromness by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring by Frederick Delius
Touch Her Soft Lips and Part from Henry V Suite by William Walton
Romance for String Orchestra Op. 11 by Gerald Finzi
Processions are a large feature of ceremonies such as this as the isle is incredibly long and the music needs to be planned precisely to the second for the Queen, the religious leaders as well as the wedding party.
The Service will begin with a Fanfare by The State Trumpeters
of the Household Cavalry to mark the arrival of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Fanfare will be followed by three Processionals. For the Procession of The Queen, Prince William and Miss Middleton have chosen March from The Birds by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. Prelude on Rhosymedre by Ralph Vaughan Williams will accompany the Procession of the Clergy, and was chosen for its Welsh echoes. The couple have selected ‘I was Glad’, also by Parry, for the Procession of the Bride.
Prince William and Miss Middleton have chosen three hymns for the Service: ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer’, words by William Williams, translated by Peter Williams and others, and music by John Hughes.
video courtesy of thecopyist58
The second will be ‘Love Divine All Love Excelling’, and the third will be ‘Jerusalem’, by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, words by William Blake.
The Anthem, ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made’, has been composed specially for the occasion by John Rutter. It was commissioned by Westminster Abbey as a wedding present for Prince William and Kate and will be performed by both the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choir. John Rutter is a British composer, conductor, editor and arranger who specialises in choral music.
The Anthem will be followed by the Motet ‘Ubi caritas’ by Paul Mealor , a Welsh composer, who is currently Reader in Composition at The University of Aberdeen. Mealor’s composing studio is on the Isle of Anglesey, where Prince William and Miss Middleton live. This version of ‘Ubi caritas’ was written on Anglesey and premiered at the University of St. Andrews in November 2010.
During the Signing of the Registers, the choirs will sing ‘Blest pair of Sirens’, words by John Milton from At a Solemn Musick, music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry.
Following the Signing, there will be a Fanfare by the Fanfare Team
from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
The Recessional, will be Crown Imperial by William Walton.
Toccata from Symphonie V by Charles-Marie Widor.
Pomp and Circumstance March no. 5 by Edward Elgar will follow the Service.
Those with eagle eyes will have spotted that this service is a very British musical affair with only two non-British composers represented – J S Bach [ of course ] and the French composer Vidor, his Toccata having graced many a wedding ceremony. A British event watched and listened to by people around the world with British music past and present, British panache for ceremony and, most likely, British weather!
As I write the bride’s processional fanfare has just sounded from my television, Trumpets, orchestra, organ and choir in a wonderful crescendo, so I’m off to watch beautiful people get married amidst beautiful music. I’m by no means a Royalist but I have a lump in my throat of pure emotion – it is so lovely to see happiness, love and hope for the future.
Whether you are a wedding watcher or not
HAVE A WONDERFUL WHITE SHIRT [WEDDING] WEEKEND
PS. The Archbishop of Canterbury has just spoken about the union of a man and a woman and the deep meaning thereof – ah, well – we can only hope and keep working towards the day when those words might be very different.