Released on 28 April 11
William Walton coronation march to conclude royal wedding
Sir William Walton’s coronation march Crown Imperial will mark the end of the Royal Wedding Service, it was confirmed today.
The orchestral score, published by Oxford University Press (OUP), was originally commissioned for the coronation of Prince William’s great-grandfather George VI in 1937.
A specially abridged version of the piece will now be performed at the conclusion of tomorrow’s wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton — marking the bride’s entrance into the royal family.
David Blackwell, Head of the Music Department at Oxford University Press, said: “Crown Imperial distils the essence of British regal ceremonial in music. It is an arresting piece ideal for a royal event such as tomorrow’s wedding, and we are extremely proud that it is being performed on this important day.”
Sir William Walton was one of the most important British composers of his generation. Crown Imperial is one of two coronation marches that he wrote — the other of which is Orb and Sceptre which was commissioned for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The first performance of Crown Imperial was given by a specially configured Coronation Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult at Westminster Abbey on 12 May 1937, at the coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
It has since become one of Walton’s most recognized works, and is now an extremely popular choice for major orchestras around the world.
Since its first publication, Oxford University Press has issued arrangements of the score for piano, organ, small orchestra with piano, and military band, as well as the original version for full orchestra.
The piece will be performed as the recessional at the royal wedding by the London Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestral material for the abridged version will be available on hire from OUP later this year.
William Walton’s music is exclusively published by Oxford University Press.
For further information, or to carry out an interview with David Blackwell, Head of the Music Department at Oxford University Press, please contact:
UK: Email Dan Selinger or phone +44 1865 355037
US: Email Christian Purdy or phone +1 212 726 6032
Notes to editor
Sir William Turner Walton (29 March 1902 – 8 March 1983) was an English composer. During a sixty-year career, he wrote music in many classical genres, from film scores to opera. His best-known works include Façade – An Entertainment, the cantata Belshazzar's Feast, and his First Symphony.
The performance direction at the head of the score of Crown Imperial is Allegro real, and after the title comes a quotation from William Dunbar: ‘In beawtie beryng the crone imperiall’. Both immediately confirm the work’s purpose as an arresting occasional piece for a great and royal ceremonial event. Martial swagger, a memorable central melody, and the striking use of the organ all contribute to Crown Imperial’s grand effect. The abridgement of the score used at the Royal Wedding makes some changes to the original orchestration, and memorably introduces six fanfare trumpets and snare drum in the closing bars.
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. It currently publishes more than 6,000 new publications a year, has offices in around fifty countries, and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.