English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, the man behind the scores for blockbuster musicals such as ‘Cats,’ ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Evita,’ has written the anthem for King Charles III’s coronation. The anthem is an adaptation of a piece of church music that encourages singers to make a “joyful noise.”
The work made by Webber is one of a dozen new pieces King Charles has commissioned for the grand occasion taking place on May 6th at the Westminster Abbey. It includes words adapted from Psalm 98 and is scored specifically for the abbey’s choir and organ.
“I hope my anthem reflects this joyous occasion,” said Webber in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace.
The program for the ceremony would be a fusion of older music and new compositions that merge traditional and modern elements, which will reflect the realities of modern Britain. New compositions were arranged by artists with roots in all four of the United Kingdom’s constituent nations, as well as in the Commonwealth and foreign countries that have sent a lot of people to its shores.
“The decision to combine old and new reflects the cultural breadth of the age in which we live,” stated Andrew Nethsingha, the organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey.
“Coronations have taken place in Westminster Abbey since 1066. It has been a privilege to collaborate with his majesty in choosing the best musicians and accessible, communicative music for this great occasion,” Netsingha said.
In all, six orchestral commissions, five choral commissions, and one organ commission – spanning the classical, sacred, film, television and musical theater genres – were created for the coronation.
The program will also include personal touches, including a musical tribute to Charles’ late father, Prince Philip, who was born a Greek prince. The new monarch asked for Greek Orthodox music, which will be performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble.
Although the specifics on some of the material are being kept secret, Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” is one of the hymns that will definitely be part of the service.
The hymn, with its robust chorus of “God Save the King.” has been played at every coronation since it was commissioned for the coronation of King George the II in 1727.
Other POP! stories that you might like: