Greek Orthodox music will feature among the twelve newly commissioned pieces of music set to play at the coronation of Britain’s King Charles at Westminster Abbey.

Six orchestral commissions, five choral commissions and one organ commission have been composed for the occasion, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday.

The commissions include a new Coronation Anthem by musical theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, the creator of acclaimed musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.

“A range of musical styles and performers blend tradition, heritage and ceremony with new musical voices of today, reflecting The King’s lifelong love and support of music and the arts,” the palace said in a statement.

“At the request of His Majesty, in tribute to his late father His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Greek Orthodox music will also feature in the Service performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble.”

Prince Philip who died in 2021, was born on the Greek island of Corfu, and was a Greek Prince before his family fled Greece.

Philip’s father was Prince Andrew of Greece, the fourth son of former George I of the Hellenes.

Andrew’s brother, King Constantine I, was deposed by a military junta following the Greeks’ heavy defeat by the Turks in the war of Asia Minor in 1922.

Andrew was charged with treason, imprisoned, and sentenced to death before fleeing with his family to Paris.

Beyond the Anthem and Greek Orthodox music, one of the liturgical sections of the ceremony will also be performed in Welsh to reflect Charles’s “long-standing and deeply held relationship and affiliation with Wales”, the palace statement said.

Fanfares will be played by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and The Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force, the palace said.

Music by classical composers including George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams, some of which has historically featured in the service for 400 years, will be included in the program along with the music of living Welsh composer Karl Jenkins.

Music by Elgar, Parry, and Williams was also performed at the crowning of Charles’s late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953.

Handel’s coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, which was composed for the coronation of King George II in 1727, will be played at the ceremony, the palace said.

“I have scored it for the Westminster Abbey choir and organ, the ceremonial brass and orchestra. I hope my anthem reflects this joyful occasion, ” composer Lloyd Webber said of his coronation anthem in the statement.

Source: AAP

Leave a Reply