While some traditional music will be performed before and during the ceremony, new pieces performed by diverse artists are a ringing endorsement from Buckingham Palace of today’s brilliant British musicians.
Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber will compose a new Coronation Anthem, one of 12 new pieces commissioned for the service at Westminster Abbey. There the new organist and choirmaster Andrew Netsinghe, recently arrived from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, will be on his new home turf, welcoming fellow musicians including Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House.
Coronation performer and composer Roderick Williams. Photo: Richard Lewisohn
Pappano will conduct the bespoke Coronation Orchestra, handpicked players including some from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, of which the King was patron as Prince of Wales. Other performers include the soprano Pretty Yende, who last year thrilled Royal Opera House audiences as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata.
Also from the world of opera, Sir Bryn Terfel will perform, and baritone Roderick Williams will be present as both singer and composer.
Other composers include the versatile Iain Farrington, Tarik O'Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Debbie Wiseman and and the first female Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir. In a refreshing acknowledgement of the many very talented women composers working today, six of the 12 new works will be written by women.
Royal Harpist Alis Huws will join the specially created Coronation Orchestra under Sir Antonio Pappano
The orchestra will include the Royal Harpist, Alis Huws, reflecting the King’s affinity with the principality of Wales, and the many choirs combined include those from Belfast, the choirs of Westminster Abbey the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace and Truro Cathedral Choir. The bespoke Ascension Choir will also sing, but it will be the King’s Scholars of Westminster School who will proclaim the traditional ‘Vivat’ acclamations.
The rousing ‘Vivat’ shout comes from Sir Hubert Parry’s great anthem ‘I was glad’, sure to be one of the many traditional pieces also performed. Composers of such classics include William Byrd, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir William Walton and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Composer Roxanna Panufnik has been commissioned to write a new work for the Coronation
Before the service begins and as guests arrive, early music specialist Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque soloists in a sequence of music to set the scene. Later, Greek Orthodox music will be performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble, a tribute to the Greek ancestry of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
King Charles was an able amateur cellist as a young man, and his Prince's Trust used music as a route to straightening out and opening up the lives of countless young people. While Queen Elizabeth II attended some musical events, there are signs that her heir will be a more active supporter of the arts.
At the heart of his ceremony will be the stirring anthem Zadok the Priest, sung at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and at the coronation of every monarch since George II. Its German-born composer George Friderick Handel was granted British nationality in time for that coronation in 1727. Nearly 300 years later it is as impressive as it ever was. Lord Lloyd-Webber has a hard act to follow...
|What||Music for the Coronation: composers, artists and traditions|
|Where||Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard , London, SW1P 3PA | MAP|
On 06 May 23, By invitation; broadcast and streamed worldwide
|Website||Click here for more information|