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Music at the Coronation of Charles III London 2023 Pretty Yende, Bryn Terfel

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Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: BBC  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Broadcast
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • This Recording is NOT AVAILABLE from a proper commercial or public source

Pretty Yende, who is the first African soloist to be invited to perform at a British Coronation, performs ‘sacred fire’ at Westminster Abbey

Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel Jones, CBE performs the Coronation Kyrie alongside the Choir of Westminster Abbey. The musical piece, which was composed by Paul Mealor, has been crafted specifically for this service.


Before the service, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists will perform:

Bach: ‘Magnificat anima mea’ from Magnificat in D
Bach: ‘Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen’ from Christmas Oratorio
Bach: ‘Singet dem Herrn ein neues’ Lied from New Year Cantata
Bruckner: ‘Ecce sacerdos magnus’
Westminster Abbey’s assistant organist, Matthew Jorysz, will play:

Bach: Alla breve in D
The Coronation Orchestra – made up of players from the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Opera House Orchestras and more, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano and led by Vasko Vassilev – will play the first of the King’s commissions, a short overture by Judith Weir, the Master of the King’s Music:

Judith Weir: ‘Brighter Visions Shine Afar’
The Coronation Orchestra will then play:

Holst: ‘Jupiter’ from The Planets arr. Iain Farrington

William Byrd ‘O Lord, Make Thy Servant Charles’, sung by The Sixteen

The orchestra will be joined by Royal harpist Alis Huws for a new arrangement of a Welsh folk song set by Sir Karl Jenkins, commissioned by the then Prince of Wales over two decades ago:

Sir Karl Jenkins: ‘Tros y Garreg’ (‘Crossing the Stone’)
South African soprano Pretty Yende will step forward to sing a new commission:

Sarah Class: ‘Sacred Fire’
The Coronation Orchestra will perform:

Walton: Crown Imperial arr. John Rutter
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
Based on one of His Majesty’s favourite hymns, this next commission comes from a trio of composers, Hess, Williams and Thompson. Their individual musical responses to the Irish hymn ‘Be Thou my Vision’, including a musical cryptogram of His Majesty’s name, have been woven together into a single work:

Nigel Hess, Roderick Williams, Shirley J Thompson: ‘Be Thou my Vision – Triptych for Orchestra’
Read more: Soprano sings King’s favourite hymn ‘Be Thou my Vision’ in historic chapel

Solo soprano sings King Charles’ favourite hymn ‘Be Thou my Vision’

Next will follow an organ commission played by the assistant organist, ‘Voices of the World’, combining traditional melodies from the Commonwealth.

Iain Farrington: ‘Voices of the World’
The Coronation Orchestra will play film composer Patrick Doyle’s ceremonial march, filled with Celtic influence and plenty of pageantry, as the final pre-service commission before the King and Queen’s procession into the Abbey.

Patrick Doyle: ‘King Charles III Coronation March’
The Coronation Orchestra will play:

Purcell: Trumpet Tune arr. John Rutter (soloists: Jason Edward and Matthew Williams)
Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon
Handel: ‘Oh, had I Jubal’s lyre’ from Joshua (soloist: Pretty Yende)
Handel: ‘Care selve’ from Atalanta (soloist: Pretty Yende)
Elgar: Nimrod arr. Farrington
Sub-organist Peter Holder will play:

Harris: Flourish for an Occasion
Vaughan Williams: Prelude on ‘Rhosymedre’
After the music, the faith leaders, representatives of the Commonwealth realms and ecumenical leaders will be invited to process into the Abbey. The choir will follow, followed by the King and Queen.

Moira Stuart speaks to Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir

The coronation service choir, made up of voices from the Choir of Westminster Abbey, The Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, Truro Cathedral’s girl choristers, Methodist College, Belfast, and the Monteverdi Choir, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha, will perform ‘I Was Glad’, containing the cry ‘Vivat Rex!’ (Long Live the King!) which will be proclaimed by scholars from Westminster School:

Parry: ‘I Was Glad’ arr. John Rutter
Paul Mealor’s ‘Kyrie Eleison’, the first Welsh language performance at a coronation, will follow, sung by the choir and bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel:

Paul Mealor: ‘Coronation Kyrie’
The choir will sing two Byrd anthems:

Byrd: ‘Prevent Us, O Lord’
Byrd: ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ from Mass for Four Voices
A setting of Psalm 47 beginning ‘Alleluia, Alleluia!’ commissioned from Classic FM’s composer in residence Debbie Wiseman, will be heard next by the coronation choir, followed by a second iteration performed by the Ascension Choir.

Debbie Wiseman: Psalm 47
Read more: King Charles ‘very much wanted a gospel choir’ at coronation, says Debbie Wiseman

After the Archbishop’s sermon, the choir will perform an arrangement of a Christian hymn incorporating the traditional languages of the four nations of the United Kingdom:

Plainsong attr. Maurus: ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’
The choir will sing the anthem, a text which has always been a part of coronations in England, but most famously since it was set to music by Handel for the Coronation of George II:

Handel: Zadok the Priest
The Byzantine Chant Ensemble will sing:

‘Give the King your judgements, O God’ (Psalms 72)
Once the King is crowned, the Coronation Brass Ensemble will play:

Strauss: Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare arr. Paul Mealor
We will then hear the choir sing a setting of Psalm 61 verses by Thomas Weelkes:

Weelkes: ‘O Lord, grant the king a long life’ (Psalm 61)
The choir, together with baritone Roderick Williams, will sing:

Walford-Davies: ‘Confortare’ arr. John Rutter

Handel’s Zadok the Priest – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

After the Queen is enthroned, the choir will sing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s coronation anthem:

Andrew Lloyd Webber: ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ (Coronation Anthem)
All will stand to sing the hymn:

Purcell: Christ is made the sure Foundation arr. James O’Donnell
Read more: What are the lyrics to ‘Christ is Made the Sure Foundation’?

The choir will sing a new ‘Sanctus’ by British composer Roxanna Panufnik, one of the King’s 12 commissions for the coronation:

Roxanna Panufnik: ‘Sanctus’
After The Lord’s Prayer, we’ll hear a new ‘Agnus Dei’ set by British-American composer Tarik O’Regan:

Tarik O’Regan: ‘Agnus Dei’

All will stand to sing a stirring hymn:

Lyte: ‘Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven’
Read more: What are the lyrics to ‘Praise, my soul, the King of heaven’?

All will sit, and the choir will sing the Anthem, originally composed for the coronation of George III in 1761:

Boyce: ‘The King shall rejoice’ (Psalm 21)
More music follows from the choir, with a ‘Te Deum’ from William Walton, originally composed for the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

Walton: ‘Te Deum Laudamus’ arr. John Rutter
The congregation will then join in singing the national anthem:

Anon: God Save the King arr. Jacob
Read more: What are the lyrics to Britain’s national anthem and who composed it?

‘God Save the King’, sung by soprano Alexandra Stevenson

What music will be played after the service?
During the King and Queen’s procession out of the Abbey, the orchestra will play:

Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No.4 arr. Farrington
Parry: March from The Birds arr. Rutter
The sub-organist will play:

Parry: Chorale Fantasia on ‘The Old Hundredth’
Byrd: Earl of Oxford’s March arr. Matthew Knight


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