I am sure there are those who recall many of the royal
events fondly, and for those people this album will serve them quite
well. The whole concept of this album is to compile the music that accompanied
all the great British royal events in the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth
With the recent death of the Queen Mother, I wish I
had more nice things to say about this album. I am sure that it will
serve those who recall the grand royal events of the past fifty years
with fondness. Much of the music that we associate with British pomp
appears in this compilation (ironically not including the Pomp and
Circumstance marches); such as Mendelssohnís Wedding March,
I Vow to Thee My Country; Crown Imperial, the famous trumpet
theme in D-major by Purcell (which is listed in the index, as "Trumpet
Tune by Purcell", not that my description is that much more
However, the production values on this release are
for the most part low indeed. Both the Westminster Abbey Choir and Llandaff
Cathedral Choir are competent choruses, but sound unrehearsed on this
release when the music makes any demands on them. While the organ of
Westminster Abbey has attained a certain degree of fame, it is so distantly
microphoned that it scarcely makes any impact on the listener (which
in turn takes the pomp out of the music).
All of the pieces that call for orchestra are arranged
for organ and/or brass band, with an occasional timpani roll and cymbal
crash. The performers made a particular mess of Crown Imperial in this
"organ-ized" arrangement. I regret to say that the only piece on this
release that I find of musical interest as either a piece or as a performance
is "I was glad" by Hubert Parry.
But for the most part I find this disc dull and clichéd.
Iím afraid I can only recommend this CD to those souls who think that
even a modicum of the excitement found in the Royal Ceremonies can be
found on this disc. Listen before deciding whether or not buy.