Royal wedding music: Hear Prince William and Kate Middleton’s picks for the Westminster Abbey service

Three of Britain’s greatest composers – Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams – will feature in the music performed at the wedding.

Prince William and Kate Middleton stand on the steps of Town Hall during a visit to Belfast (Pic: Getty)

Three of Britain’s greatest composers – Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams – will feature in the music performed at the wedding.

Kate Middleton to walk down Coronation Anthem aisle – listen to I Was Glad

The chosen pieces follow one of the main themes of the nuptials – a defense by Prince William and Kate Middleton of British culture and creativity.

This theme of the British spirit is reflected in everything from the couple’s choice of pastry chef to the flowers used to decorate Westminster Abbey.

The prince and his fiancee also recognized the works of modern British composers, most notably in the service pieces by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies – Master of the Queen’s Music – and a young talent, Paul Mealor.

Most of the works will be performed by Abbey Assistant Organist James McVinnie or the London Chamber Orchestra as guests gather in the former place of worship before the service begins.

Ralph Vaughan William is best known for the lyrical and evocative piece The Lark Ascending.

He topped Classic FM’s annual poll of Britain’s favorite classical pieces for four years until he was pushed to second place this year by Rachmaninoff’s No.2 Concerto.

William and Kate chose Vaughan William’s Fantasia on Greensleeves – based on the tune believed to have been written by one of the prince’s ancestors, Henry VIII.

Another piece by Vaughan Williams – Prelude on Rhosymedre – is also present.

Sir Edward Elgar is another archetypal British composer known for his moving works like Pomp and Circumstance – a favorite of Last Night of the Proms – Enigma Variations and his cello concerto.

For the wedding, his Serenade for strings in E minor opus 20 and elements of his sonata for organ opus 28 were chosen.

An opera by Britten, another major musical figure both at home and abroad, called Gloriana, will be performed for arriving guests, but only his Courtly Dance V: Galliard.

The composer was famous for his opera work, especially Peter Grimes, which brought him worldwide fame.

Other musical pieces featured include Bach’s Fantasia in G, Delius’ On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, and works by Percy Whitlock, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Gerald Finzi and William Walton.

Two pieces by Maxwell Davies – Farewell to Stromness and Veni Creator Spiritus – present different sides of the man who is considered a leading European musical figure.

Mealor has produced important Welsh choral works and his Motet – a Latin religious choral composition – brings the music up to date.

The composer was chosen simply for the quality of his work and the fact that he is based in Anglesey, North Wales where the couple live.

Kate Middleton to walk down Coronation Anthem aisle – listen to I Was Glad


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