Music Makes the Day at the Royal Wedding

April 29, 2011, 1:12 PM ·

I don't know about you, but I was delighted to revel in the beautifully performed, LIVE music featured this morning for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine, now-Duchess of Cambridge, which yes, I did watch live at 3 a.m. in California.

Here is a link to a list of the works performed, which included organ works, trumpet works, choral works and orchestral works, by mostly British composers, past and present. There were works commissioned especially for the wedding: "This is the day which the Lord hath made," by British composer John Rutter, and "Ubi caritas" by Paul Mealor of Anglesey.

It was so heartening to me, to see an event which so effectively recognized and celebrated a country's musical culture, not to mention the fact that it featured so many live musicians. It seems that William and Catherine know well the art music of their country and genuinely support it. I loved the color, the costume, the tradition and the pageantry, but I thought the music made the day.

What is the aural word for "spectacular"? This is it, "I Was Glad" by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry: choir, orchestra, organ, trumpets. I'm pretty partial to boys' choirs these days, too. Here it is for anyone who missed it this morning: (Start at 1:27)

And here's another taste, "Jerusalem" also by Parry, words by William Blake:


April 29, 2011 at 08:56 PM ·

I was delighted to see a couple gratuitous shots of the violinists! I didn't have a chance to view the entire ceremony, but I did enjoy some of the music while getting my son ready for school.

April 29, 2011 at 09:50 PM ·

As they were coming out of the Abbey.----Crown Imperial --- -one of my all time favourites.

April 30, 2011 at 03:37 AM ·

It was a delight hearing "I Was Glad" performed at the wedding. Parry's music is so human and thus, sublime yet dignified.

April 30, 2011 at 06:29 PM ·

Thank you so much for posting this, Laurie!  I had pretty much ignored the wedding hoopla until I saw what you had written and the videos. What a marvelous idea to have Parry's "I Was Glad"/Psalm 122 as the processional. I won (or rather, my wife won for me by buying up most of the raffle tickets...:-) a chance to conduct Parry's masterpiece with the Boston Cecilia a couple of years ago. What wonderful music! It is nice to know that the Western Classical Music Tradition still exists somewhere other than in Japan, Korea, and China. Brittania Rules!  Lawrence Franko  

PS Did they HAVE to cut off the video before the end of the piece?? Snif. PPS Yes, pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, the city of peace that has almost never known peace... PPPS Perhaps you could do a forum on violinists who love playing choral music. I think most violinists's phrasing and pacing could benefit greatly by their being more familiar with our ur-instrument, the human voice! 

May 1, 2011 at 02:20 PM ·

 Oh, that was lovely, and yes, the music was sublime (as were the trees inside the abbey - that shocked me!). I'd seen the first clip earlier on BBC News Online, a few hours after the wedding, and the footage lasted a bit longer, until the music ended, and an overhead camera took over, giving us this aerial view of the whole ceremony that brought tears to my eyes. I tried to find that clip just now over at BBC News, and it's buried in all the other stuff. If anyone can hunt it down, those last 30 seconds (or so) are well worth watching. Lawrence, you're right - it's such a shame the way it cuts off right now. 

Anyway. Just lovely. Thanks for posting this, Laurie.

May 1, 2011 at 02:41 PM ·

 Oh, yay, I found the link!

A must-watch-again for everyone (Lawrence, you MUST check this out), for those spectacular last 20 seconds and the completion of the song. Gave me chills. Choked me up. Sublime stuff.

May 1, 2011 at 03:42 PM ·

A stunning vertical picture from the roof at the end.

May 1, 2011 at 08:58 PM ·

 I'm not a royalist at all, but I thoroughly enjoyed the wedding!! The music was the only real thing attracting me to the wedding (and the dress!!) and I thought that the choice of music was brilliant (and the fact that I have sung 'I was Glad' for the entrance to a wedding before made it even more special!) and the clockwork of the whole thing was amazing! I also think Kate looked stunning in that dress! One of the things that made the whole thing more special for me is the fact I personally know one of the choir boys from another cathedral choir we both used to sing in! :)

May 1, 2011 at 09:19 PM ·

 >A stunning vertical picture from the roof at the end.

Yes, gave me chills!

May 2, 2011 at 02:36 AM ·

I admit to spending WAY too much time watching this wedding, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Decca is releasing a recording of all the wedding music.

The official wedding site has videos of highlights from the ceremony. I'm not sure if they have one of the entire broadcast, but it was wonderful to watch/isten with NO tv chatter.. 

May 2, 2011 at 11:21 AM ·

The commentary was something I tried to avoid . I switched over to satellite pictures from Brazil and listened to the lady going into raptures . I can`t speak the language but it had less chance of niggles about expense.

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