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Label news: Royal Wedding to be streamed by Decca

April 25, 2018 by norman lebrecht

12 comments.


The UK label has won exclusive rights.

Here’s the small print:

When Prince Harry marries Ms. Meghan Markle next month, the Royal Wedding Ceremony will be recorded live and released on Decca Records within hours of the service ending. Decca, one of Britain’s most historic record labels, will have the privilege of capturing the entire service.

The official recording of the Wedding Service, to be held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday 19th May, will be available to listen to at home that same day, then released into retail stores around the world from 25th May.

Musicians confirmed to perform at the wedding ceremony include British cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason, Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, The Choir of St George’s Chapel and Christian gospel group The Kingdom Choir. The Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, will be made up of musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia. State Trumpeters are drawn from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalry, and will provide ceremonial support during the Service at St George’s Chapel. The music will be under the direction of James Vivian, Director of Music, St George’s Chapel. The physical album will include a special collector’s booklet. The recording will also be made available on vinyl.

Decca Records is a part of Universal Music, the world’s leading music company, and has previously recorded and released the Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, as well as the Wedding of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. This uniquely original new recording will be the next in a historic line to mark major milestones for The Royal Family, and as such it will enter the homes of millions across the whole world.

The album will be produced by one of the world’s finest classical record producers, Anna Barry, who has produced over 500 recordings of distinction for over 25 years, ranging from works by Andrew Lloyd Webber to opera at the Mariinsky Theatre with Valery Gergiev, and many other legendary artists including José Carreras and Zubin Mehta.

The multi-Grammy-nominated producer said of the Royal Wedding recording: “Capturing the words and music of this Royal Wedding is a great responsibility, knowing how much a permanent record of the event will mean to so many people around the world. Our Decca team will deliver a state of the art recording which captures every nuance of this very happy day and it will be a joy to be a part of the celebrations.”

Rebecca Allen, President of Decca Records said: “Decca is hugely proud of its historical connections to The Royal Family and is very much looking forward to recording, and making available within hours, this truly special event. This unique and prestigious occasion will be available to stream across all music platforms globally – a first for a Royal Wedding.”

Dickon Stainer, President & CEO, Global Classics & Jazz said: “This will go down in history as the first time a Royal Wedding can be re-lived within hours through the world’s streaming platforms; every word and every note of music.”

The album will be produced by one of the world’s finest classical record producers, Anna Barry, who has produced over 500 recordings of distinction for over 25 years, ranging from works by Andrew Lloyd Webber to opera at the Mariinsky Theatre with Valery Gergiev, and many other legendary artists including José Carreras and Zubin Mehta.


Comments (12)

  1. RW2013 says:

    Echo award for Best Royal Wedding?

    1. Sue says:

      I think I’ll just watch my DVD “Royal Wedding” – the 1951 musical made by MGM with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Alan Lerner. This will be far more entertaining than the royal spectacle in London next month with Philip on batteries and the rest of them mechanically going through the motions with their wind-up waving.

      1. RW2013 says:

        Isn’t it in Windsor?
        And would this make Meg a Merry Wife of Windsor?

        1. Sue says:

          You may be right; I’ve never bothered to find out. In any case, I’ll stick with Plan A (as opposed to Plan 9 from Outer Space!).

  2. Eric says:

    Retail stores? where would this be sold, honestly….

    1. CJBoland says:

      Who would buy such tatt is right, try charity shops in 6 months.

  3. V.Lind says:

    Who do they think is going to stream it aurally — long-distance truckers?* Anyone interested in Royal weddings will have a massive selection of media in which to watch it. Recordings after the fact have their uses for fans, if the music is good enough (as at Charles and Diana’s wedding and Diana’s funeral — none of the other big Royal events of recent decades have struck me as worth a listen (and how I felt for the Queen at 92 having to endure a collection of ill-chosen dreck — certainly not chosen with her tastes in mind. To live that long and have to endure the need to appear as if you are “with the programme”…)

    *No offence intended toward long-distance truckers, with whom I have happily worked on some issues. They are as likely to number Royal wedding fans as any other group and I’ll be glad if they can have access to aural streaming as they make their way back from the farther regions of the European Union.

    1. Elegance says:

      Hang on, the music at William and Kate’s wedding was remarkably tasteful. James O’Connell directing, Robert Quinney on the organ. Parry – I was Glad; Parry’s Blest pair of sirens; Paul Mealor’s Ubi Caritas; a Rutter commission (ok, not to everyone’s taste but if you’re Anglican (and the royal couple are surely supposed to be Anglican, no?) then Rutter is a worthy presence); Walton’s Crown Imperial…. All quite tasteful, all beautifully respectfully within the tradition, all impeccably performed. Makes quite a nice CD really.

      1. Alex Davies says:

        There is much better Anglican music than Rutter! I was a cathedral chorister and I can tell you the only Rutter we ever did was The Lord Bless You and Keep You, strictly held in reserve for large diocesan occasions at which it was also deemed necessary to use contemporary worship songs such as Be Still for the Presence of the Lord.

        I can’t say that I found the musical choices for the William/Kate wedding particularly inspired or inspiring. A much more interesting choice, for example, would have been Love Bade Me Welcome from Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs (in the arrangement for solo, chorus, and orchestra). As for Crown Imperial, they seem to feel the need to use it at virtually every royal occasion. Another alternative suggestion, Vaughan Williams again, would be his Sea Songs or English Folk Song Suite. I found the Paul Mealor Ubi caritas really rather tedious. Not a patch on the Duruflé setting. Digging back further into English musical history, why use two anthems by Parry and nothing by Purcell or by Tallis or Byrd (or any number of lesser geniuses of the English Renaissance such as Orlando Gibbons)? Purcell’s My Beloved Spake, for example, with words from the Song of Songs, would have been perfect. Byrd’s Sing Joyfully would also have suited the celebratory occasion perfectly. Overall, disappointing choices, I’d say. I didn’t even like the hymns! A great suggestion for a hymn would have been G.K. Chesterton’s poem ‘O God of earth and altar’ to the beautiful traditional tune King’s Lynn arranged by Vaughan Williams.

    2. Alex Davies says:

      I did a little digging into this out of curiosity and was surprised to discover that some Mozart was used at the wedding of the Duke of Duchess of York in 1986. I had rather got the impression that the rule was that only music by British or Commonwealth composers was considered proper. The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, seems to have been something of an exception, presumably as it was a kind of semi-royal occasion. The music at her funeral was actually rather good, although I hate that song ‘Make me a channel of your peace’.

      I do somewhat pity the royals when it comes to these events. How much choice do they really get? Do they actually relish the prospect of yet another performance of Walton’s Crown Imperial or Parry’s I Was Glad? I imagine a conversation in which a royal suggests a Messiaen organ piece, only to be advised by some courtier that Messiaen was French and a Catholic and that his music just isn’t the sort of thing that their public wants to hear. Sir Andrzej Panufnik’s Kołysanka during the signing of the register? Probably not British enough and too challenging for the TV audience.

  4. john says:

    In the era of live-video streaming and broadcasting, the audio recording is a minute by-product. 40 years too late.

    1. Sue says:

      A bit like the Royal Family itself, I’m thinking.


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