An English Coronation 1902-1953 | Signum SIGCD569

An English Coronation 1902-1953

Label: Signum

Cat No: SIGCD569

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 3rd May 2019



The four coronations of the twentieth century were enormous and extravagant. Replete with festive pageantry, these ceremonies were joyful celebrations of British music, employing tremendous forces. Choirs from across London and beyond were marshalled to provide a chorus of over 400 voices; a full-size symphony orchestra was squeezed into Westminster Abbey, whilst bands of fanfare trumpeters led the pomp and celebration.

In the imposing surroundings of Ely Cathedral, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort and Players bring the history, ceremony and liturgy of these extraordinary events to life. With his renowned creative flair, McCreesh’s painstaking research will provides the springboard for their latest ground-breaking recreation project.

The result is a joyful celebration of five centuries of choral music, performed with the same vast forces as were heard at the coronation services. Alongside an orchestra of rare early-twentieth-century instruments, an extended Gabrieli Consort is amplified by the energetic sound and fresh faces of several hundred young singers from Gabrieli’s choral training programme Gabrieli Roar.

The music is interspersed by the coronation liturgy, with Simon Russell Beale speaking the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury.


... how comfortably the golden-age greats of Tallis, Byrd and Gibbons reside here in the bosom of their respectful modern-day counterparts who provided the commissions: Wood, Elgar, Howells, Walton and a splendid new recessional by David Matthews. ... Well-articulated insights into the rich theatrical dimension of this quartet of coronations work best in the large works, all of which sound spectacular in the ringing acoustic, and whose atmosphere is enhanced by ambient and anticipatory shuffle of a large congregation between each number.  Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Gramophone June 2019

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