Thursday, April 28, 2011

Watch with Mother for composer of Royal Wedding work....

It's been a closely-guarded secret, that Royal Wedding music, and on the whole it's very best-of-British. Well, British, anyway. According to BBC Breakfast today, we're promised Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten (!), and Kate is walking up the aisle to the strains of Parry's utterly execrable I was Glad. The London Chamber Orchestra will be doing the honours - more of them soon, I hope... but meanwhile the breaking news is that a work by a little-known Welsh composer, Paul Mealor, 35, has been chosen for performance on the big day alongside all the pomp and circumstance.

The piece, Ubi caritas, was premiered last year at St Andrew's University, meeting place of the happy twain, and will be performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, conducted by James O'Donnell. Paul says: “I was thrilled to hear that HRH Prince William of Wales had chosen my music for his wedding. How humbling it is for me to know that Prince William and Catherine will celebrate the beginning of their lives together with my music. The ceremony is going to be, without a doubt, the most emotionally intense and exhilarating hour of my life.’’    

After making the poor guy keep all the excitement under wraps until now, you'd think that the least they could do was make sure he's in the abbey to hear his piece. But no. He's apparently planning to be at home in Wales, watching on telly with his mum. I can't help wondering if he was even invited. Shall we hazard a guess?

About Paul: he studied composition privately from an early age with John Pickard, at the University of York with Nicola LeFanu (1994-2002) and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen (1998-99). Since 2003 he has taught at the University of Aberdeen, where he is currently Reader in Composition, and has held visiting professorships in composition at institutions in Scandinavia and the United States.

Update: the full list of music for the Royal Wedding is now online at the official site, here. John Rutter has been commissioned to write a brand-new anthem, there'll be a piece by Peter Maxwell Davies who's Master of the Queen's Music, and the happy couple will exit to Walton's 'Crown Imperial', followed by the Widor Toccata and a spot of Elgar. And much more.