Royal weddings are rare occasions so it was obvious that in today's high-tech
showbiz obsessed world, Prince Edward's wedding to the charming Sophie Rhys
Jones was going to be a mammoth public relations event. After all the hype
had died down, it was good to report that this album containing much beautiful
music is also a charitable concern. However, we are principally concerned
here with the music and that is quite outstanding.
Elgar makes a few appearances with the inspired 'Spirit of the Lord' particularly
evocative whilst the usually rousing Handel pieces receive gloriously 'big-band'
treatment - especially that timeless 'Amen' chorus. And the whole service
is obviously a very moving experience as countless cheers add to the spice
of the occasion especially when the couple pronounce their marriage vows.
The organ music includes works by Widor, Harris and Bridge whilst there are
also some specially composed pieces such as 'A Fanfare for Sophie' by David
The stirring speeches of the Bishop of Norwich, the Dean of Windsor and solemn
prayers by the Rt. Revd David Connor make for striking listening. Roger Judd's
organ playing is virtuosic but at the same time quite restrained whilst the
Choir of St George's Chapel accredit themselves with aplomb under the direction
of Jonathan Rees-Williams. All in all, this a souvenir of a splendid occasion
although the video and probable DVD release will present a more complete
'package' for those all-important visuals.