The musicians being featured in the Coronation have spoken of their joy and pride at taking part – and told how the King became personally involved in the selection. An anthem written by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and a “jubilant and uplifting” march created by Patrick Doyle are among the 12 new compositions for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
Brit Awards and Emmy-nominated composer Sarah Class, who has composed scores for Sir David Attenborough’s nature programmes, was also invited by Charles to write music for the Coronation.
Lord Lloyd-Webber, 75, said he has already played a version of his piece – Make A Joyful Noise, A Coronation Anthem – to the King but he remained tight-lipped about the royal response.
He said: “I had the good fortune to discuss the text with the King. We discussed the writings of Solomon and I suggested adapting Psalm 98 with its message of ‘Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord, the King’. It seems so appropriate to the moment in the Coronation service.
“I played – and tried to sing – my early score for him a few weeks ago.
“I have composed a short opening and closing fanfare, which will be played by the Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force. The anthem is scored for the wonderful Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Coronation Orchestra.”
Charles has personally selected the music for the ceremony, which has been designed to showcase a range of talent and styles from the UK and the Commonwealth.
Performers include Welsh harpist Alis Huws, 28, and South African opera soprano Pretty Yende, 38.
Sarah Class spoke of her pride in attending the Coronation and that in the King, the country has a monarch who is as passionate about the environment as she is.
She first came to the attention of the then-Prince of Wales after writing to him and mentioning his visit to her school and detailing her work with music and the environment. The King then asked her to write music for Glasgow’s Cop26 climate change summit.
Sarah, 43, said: “I feel very honoured, privileged and excited to be part of the Coronation. For me, it’s not just a contribution, I feel so happy that I’m lending my support through my music.
“I love the fact that we have somebody in this position, who has these values about the planet, who cares about the environment and our biodiversity.”
The event is set to be a showcase of some of the best composers in the world. A short overture composed by Judith Weir will be the first performance by the Coronation Orchestra.
The ceremony features six orchestral commissions, five choral and one organ, specially written for the occasion by composers whose styles include classical, sacred, film, television and musical theatre.
Paul Mealor’s composition – Coronation Kyrie – to be sung by bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and the Westminster Abbey choir, is set to be the first Welsh language performance at a crowning.
Mr Mealor, 47, from St Asaph, in Denbighshire, Wales, described it as “a meditative, introspective” piece.
He said: “I was inspired by the great Welsh tunes – Aberystwyth, Cwm Rhondda, Ar Lan y Mor – and the composition is coloured by the harmonies of these songs. It is a cry from the deep soul of the hills and valleys of Wales for hope, peace, love and friendship.”