Music at the Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,979
    According to the order of service, ahead of the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey Matthew Jorysz, the Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey, will play:

    Fantasia of four parts, Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) Organist of Westminster Abbey 1623-25
    Romanza (Symphony no 5 in D), Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) arranged by Robert Quinney (b 1976)
    Reliqui domum meum, Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
    Meditation on ‘Brother James’s Air’, Harold Darke (1888-1976)
    Prelude on ‘Ecce jam noctis’ Op 157 no 3, Healey Willan (1880-1968)
    Psalm Prelude Set 1 no 2, Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
    In the Country Op 194 no 2, Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
    Fantasy on ‘O Paradise’, Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003)
    Elegy Op 58, Edward Elgar (1857-1934) arranged by Matthew Jorysz (b 1992)

    The Sub-Organist Peter Holder will play:

    Andante espressivo (Sonata in G Op 28), Edward Elgar
    Sospiri Op 70, Edward Elgar arranged by Peter Holder (b 1990)

    Before the service, the abbey’s tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

    The service is being sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, under the direction of James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers, Westminster Abbey, while Mr Holder will play the organ.

    One of the hymns featured in the service – “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” – was sung at the Queen’s wedding, when she married the Duke of Edinburgh in the same location, as a 21-year-old bride in 1947.

    It was also sung at the funeral of the Queen’s father George VI in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in 1952, but with slightly different wording.

    The rest of the hymns included in the ceremony will be: “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended”; and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”.

    The latter has often featured at royal weddings including William and Kate’s, Charles and Camilla’s wedding blessing, and Princess Eugenie’s.

    At the end of the service, following “The Last Post”, two minutes’ silence, the “Reveille”, and the national anthem “God Save the King”, the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, will play the traditional lament “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep”.

    Before the committal service at St George’s Chapel the organ will be played by the Organ Scholar, Miriam Reveley, before the Assistant Director of Music, Luke Bond, plays:

    Schmucke dich, O liebe Seele (BWV 654), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
    O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid Dame, Ethel Smyth (1858-1944)
    Master Tallis’s Testament, Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
    Psalm Prelude Set 1, No. 1, Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
    Psalm Prelude Set 1, No. 2, Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
    Melody (Three Pieces), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
    Andante Sostenuto (Symphonie Gothique, Op. 70), Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
    The Tree of Peace, Judith Weir (b. 1954)
    Nimrod (Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36), Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) arranged by SirWilliam H. Harris
    Prelude, Sir William H. Harris (1883-1973)
    Sheep May Safely Graze (BWV 208), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) arranged by Stainton de B.Taylor
    Rhosymedre, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
    During the Service the Choir of St George’s Chapel will be conducted by James Vivian, Director of Music and the organ will be played by Mr Bond.

    The Queen’s committal service features several pieces of music that were also heard at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April last year and other major royal events.

    JS Bach’s “Schmucke Dich, O Liebe Seele” – “Adorn Yourself, O Dear Soul” – (BWV 654) starts the selection of organ pieces being played as the mourners wait for the service to begin.

    Another is Vaughan Williams’ “Rhosymedre”, a firm favourite with the royal family with the music being performed at the wedding of Diana, Princess of Wales and Charles, and at Philip’s funeral.

    The hymns being sung in the service are “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation” by Henry Purcell, and “All My Hope on God is Founded”, adapted into English by German by Herbert Howells.

    “Nimrod” by Sir Edward Elgar was heard at the Queen’s coronation in 1953, and will also be played before the committal begins.

    The service will end with “Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 546)” which will be played after “God Save the King”, and was heard at the end of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
  • Absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing in such detail, Charles.
  • It's a beautiful selection of music.
  • vansensei
    Posts: 198
    Elgar's Nimrod can do no wrong. What an immaculate piece of music.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • vansensei
    Posts: 198
    Music was exquisite. A beautiful sendoff.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,647
    There's more to come at the Committal at St George's Windsor. The non-musical set-piece unique to a Sovereign's funeral is when the Lord Chamberlain breaks his staff towards the end of that service.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,368
    The new anthem composed by James MacMillan for the funeral and based on Romans 8: 35a, 38b-end was stunning. The text:

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Alleluia! Amen.
  • And the basses get extra credit for this one.
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,647
    Judith Wear also composed a new setting of Psalm 23 for the occasion.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    41/42, not 23.
    Thanked by 2Liam CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,647
    Right. Thanks for the correction.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,558
    Even my Cupertino-adjacent machine allows me to spell Judith Weir ;-) The piece is Like as the Hart.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen tomjaw Liam
  • Personally, I want the score to the psalm that was sung as the queen was carried into Westminster hall a few days ago. It was stunning.
  • Take note that 'Love Divine, all Loves Excelling' is sung to Braenwern, not Hyfrydol. The former being equal to, if not better than, the latter, and deserves more use This Side of the Pond. It is quite well known in Britain.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen CharlesW
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,979
    Indeed, MJO, I sang along with 'Love Divine, all Loves Excelling' - a special moment for me.

    On a side note, the Precentor at the Abbey read John Donne's prayer "Bring us, O Lord God" right before the singing of Vaughan-Williams's "O Taste and See". And at the Committal service at St. George's Chapel, the choir sang the beautiful William Harris 8-voice setting of this text, albeit at rather too fast a tempo to my taste (the VOCES8 rendition is stunning). It's the Harris setting, though, that inspired my own 5-voice setting.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • cmb
    Posts: 74
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • "...the beautiful William Harris 8-voice setting..."

    I bow to CHG's critique, but found this to be the most stunning motet I've heard in many an age, and by far the best part of the musical offerings.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,979
    The Harris setting is one of the monumental sacred English choral works of the 20th century. Here, it is sung by St Paul's Cathedral Choir from "A Service of Thanksgiving for HM the Queen" broadcasted by BBC One on 09/09/2022:

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  • francis
    Posts: 10,029
  • francis
    Posts: 10,029
  • "All my hope on God is founded" (MICHAEL) omitted one verse. Give you three guesses and the first two don't count.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Take note that 'Love Divine, all Loves Excelling' is sung to Braenwern, not Hyfrydol. The former being equal to, if not better than, the latter, and deserves more use This Side of the Pond. It is quite well known in Britain.

    Indeed. I heard this tone with pleasure when Benedict XVI celebrated Holy Mass in London back in 2011.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • One interesting detail is that one of the marches played in the parade to Westminster Abbey was 'The World Turned Upside Down', a march played in the courtyard at Fountainbleau where Napoleon bid his soldiers a last goodbye.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,647
    I've not heard a legend about Napoleon's farewell, but there is an old legend (not contemporaneously reported) that it was played at Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown in 1781.
  • It was also played when Cornwallis surrendered at the end of the American Revolution, no?
  • Jinx!
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • I have only heard of this from the well done movie, 'Waterloo' some years back. So, it may or may not conform to fact. I, too, am familiar with the Cornwallis legend.

    More confusion! I just heard multiple recordings of this piece on Youtube. They are not the same as Napoleon's adieu and the Elizabethan parade, which seems to be different.

    The Cornwallis connection seems to be grounded it truth, not fable.
  • Honestly the most revealing portion of the ceremonies for me is how the celebrants managed to give dignified introductions immediately following the spectacular processional music that were not jarringly off the cuff. Instead they gave dignified introductions which were barely distinguishable from the following collect because there was a liturgical sobriety and ritual respect that permeated the whole thing.

    My favorite musical moment was The Souls of the Righteous by Geraint Lewis which was sung at the St. Pauls Thanksgiving service.

    The Burial Sentences are also lovely, and are another part of the Anglican patrimony which have been preserved in the Ordinariate and been married to our requiem Mass.