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# I vow to thee my country
# All earthly things above... #
I Vow To Thee My Country is one of our greatest national songs,
heard regularly at royal events throughout the 20th century.
# The service of my love... #
It was sung at St Paul's Cathedral for the Silver Jubilee of George V.
Lady Diana Spencer said that it was one of her favourite hymns
from childhood and requested it be sung here again,
at her wedding to Prince Charles.
16 years later, it was performed at her funeral.
# The love that never falters
# The love that pays the price... #
The music, by Gustav Holst, marries an imperial sweep and grandeur,
with that kind of catch-in-the-throat quality
so characteristic of the best of English music,
with its all-pervasive nostalgia.
# And there's another country... #
The words fuse a love of country with the love of God.
Qualities which, as I have explored in the course of this series,
have been the inspiration for much of the best British music.
Most remarkably of all, though it seems so much part
of the national fabric, I Vow To Thee My Country
dates from only from 1921.
But then, Elgar's Hope And Glory is only 20 years older,
while the Royal House of Windsor itself was only created in 1917.
In other words, the 20th century is not a dying fall
in the history of either the British monarchy or its music.
Instead, it's a period of triumphant revival in which crown and nation
find a new unity, a new language, and above all a new music.
# ..And all her paths are peace! #
Early in the 19th century,
Britain's monarchy was set on a very different course.
British music was in the doldrums.
The Brighton Pavilion is a vision of the path both might have gone down.
It was built by the Prince Regent, who became King George IV.
Gluttonous, lascivious and extravagant,
George destroyed public respect for the monarchy.
At the heart of his personal pleasure palace, however,
we can see another side of his character.
This is his music room.
Sometimes the King's fine singing voice would be accompanied
by this magnificent organ.
At other times, he played the cello, rather well.
And most frequently, he listened to his private military band,
described as the best in Europe.
George's most famous musical guest at the Royal Pavilion
was Giacomo Rossini, the Italian opera composer.
And the two men, equally vulgar in their way, got on famously.
George brought Rossini here, into the music room
and introduced him to members of his band.
The band, in Rossini's honour,
played Rossini's own overture to The Thieving Magpie.
Snobbish aristocratic members of the house party
were disapproving of Rossini's appearance, describing him as...
"a fat, sallow squab of a man". And they were outraged
at his easy familiarity with the King.
He even dared to sit next to him!
But George was entranced and, on Rossini's subsequent visits
to London, the two sang duets together.
It was, however, a world away from the systematic royal patronage
which produced the best English music of the past.
The sacred works of the likes of Tallis, Byrd and Gibbons.
Rossini wrote fashionable light entertainments,
and made only fleeting visits to these shores.
The last truly great English musician, Henry Purcell,
had died over a century before.
However well-drilled George's band, no new British music of note
emanated from his palaces, or his reign.
Music at the Royal Pavilion had become a private passion
of a royal sybarite.
Much like the monarchy, in fact, which, decadent, mismanaged,
and without visible point or purpose,
seemed to be heading for irrelevance, or worse.
In France, the Revolutionaries had cut off the King's head,
and abolished the monarchy.
In America, former British colonial subjects were engaged
in the novel experiment of a kingless republic.
Whilst here in Britain, there were riots, conspiracies
and clamorous calls for reform.
If it were to survive,
the monarchy would have to do better than George IV.
But what would the model of a modern,
cleaned-up monarchy look like?
And what would its music be?
These questions would be settled
in the reign of George's niece, Victoria.
And the monarchy's saviour was the man she married, Prince Albert.
MUSIC: "Lebewohl" by Prince Albert.
This is one of Albert's own compositions,
played in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace
on a piano Victoria and Albert bought together.
Albert gave this music to Victoria as an engagement gift,
in a collection of his work called "Lieder und Romanzen",
songs and ballads.
Victoria and Albert would make music together,
sometimes taking it in turns to sing to each other,
sometimes singing duets.
Theirs was a passionate relationship and sharing these moments
of intense music-making only deepened it.
David Owen Norris is a pianist and composer who has studied
the Prince Consort's music.
With a perfect dying fall!
This splendid instrument is perfect for those sympathetic little duets!
Well, and these accompaniments, like the accompaniments in the song
that we've just heard, when you need to have this sort of...
And you can lay down a sort of a bed of sound
for the singer to relax upon.
And the decorations. This is very much Albertine, isn't it?
Well, it's ridiculous, isn't it?
Well, it's frankly hideous, like most of the things they bought!
Well, it's this androgynous figure in the middle,
it's very difficult to keep your eyes off it while you're playing.
But they loved this decoration so much that, actually,
they took it off an earlier piano and reapplied it.
Albert, of course, isn't only a consumer of music,
he's not only a performer of music, he is actually a composer.
How serious? I mean, how good?
Well, good, actually. And I think he took it very seriously,
and he was interested in the new innovations
that particularly German early romantic music was doing.
And he was able to do some of the remarkable harmonic things.
There's a lovely surprise here, which he waits to spring,
on a new page, which is rather lovely.
But we've had an E flat chord... HE PLAYS THE CHORD
..and then it suddenly goes... PLAYS HIGHER NOTE
Wow! And the way that he gets out of that...
-Well, very romantic.
And he's very keen on doing that.
And, in general, I think he was very good.
The other song that I've got here, Der Ungeliebten, The Unbeloved,
has a marvellous introduction which conjures up that sort of,
oh, I don't know, Weber opera sort of mood, in a way.
HE PLAYS "DER UNGELIEBTEN"
Lonely and deserted.
Lonely and deserted and remote, in both the musical sense,
and the emotional, yes.
And he could do that, he could do that.
HE CONTINUES TO PLAY
Albert himself was modest about his musical abilities.
"I consider that persons in our position of life
"can never be distinguished artists.
"We have too many other duties to perform.
"Our business is not so much to create,
"as to learn to understand and appreciate the work of others."
His insight led him to champion composers from Bach to Schubert.
And he shared his excellent taste first with his besotted queen,
and eventually, the nation.
Albert's taste in music was more serious
than anything Victoria had been used to hitherto.
But then, Albert was a serious man.
There's a yearning, not only in music,
but in the rest of his life, public and private,
for something deeper, more earnest, even more sacred
than the light, bright drawing room entertainment of Victoria's youth.
Albert brought a new sense of moral purpose
and drive to the British monarchy.
Another of Albert's enthusiasms, which Victoria duly learned
to share, was for the music of Felix Mendelssohn.
In 1842, the composer was invited for dinner at Buckingham Palace,
the first of several visits.
Mendelssohn described it as...
"The only nice, comfortable house in England."
All three would make music together, Albert pulling the stops out
of the Buckingham Palace organ for Felix.
Victoria singing Mendelssohn's songs, much to his approval.
"Really quite faultlessly, with much feeling and expression."
As a gift, Mendelssohn rearranged some of his famous
"Songs without Words" especially
for the royal couple, so's that both could play
side by side at the piano.
Victoria was given the easier part.
Such domestic pleasures could be viewed as not so far removed
from the lives of middle class families,
who also gathered round their parlour pianos at this time.
The monarchy had regained at least some bourgeois respectability
by the mid-19th century.
And the royal couple's moral rectitude was demonstrated again
when they attended the musical sensation of 1847.
# Thank the Lord!
# Thank the Lord!
# Thank the Lord!
# Thank the Lord... #
This is from one of Mendelssohn's English-language oratorios.
# Thanks be to God!
# Thanks be to God!
-# Thanks be to God!
-He laveth the thirsty land!
# The stormy billows are high
# Their fury is mighty! #
The Queen and the Prince Consort were deeply impressed
when they attended one of the very first performances.
Afterwards, Albert sent the composer
a handwritten note of congratulation.
"To the noble artist who, like a second Elijah,
"has freed our ear from the chaos of mindless jingling of tones!
"In grateful recollection, Albert."
Elijah marked out Mendelssohn as the natural successor to Handel,
whose English language oratorios remained wildly popular in Britain.
The Hanoverian monarchy had found another German composer
who spoke of Britain's spiritual destiny.
"Elijah" would go on to be performed with fervent regularity
at cathedrals, where huge choirs, orchestra and crowds of spectators
gathered in the ancient naves.
The Victorian church was rebuilding its musical infrastructure,
which, in time, would serve the monarchy as well.
# ..The waters gather They rush along!
# The waters gather, they rush along!
# They rush along!
# They rush along!
# Thanks be to God!
# He laveth the thirsty land!
# Thanks be to God!
# Thanks be to God... #
But the first pioneers of Victorian musical greatness
didn't live to see their visions realised.
Barely a year after Elijah's premiere, Mendelssohn died,
aged just 38. Among the causes were overwork and nervous exhaustion,
as they were for Albert,
who also died shockingly young at 42, in 1861.
# I am the resurrection
# And the life saith the Lord... #
His loss was felt keenly, not just by Queen Victoria,
but also, in time, by the nation.
When it came to music, he'd clearly left unfinished business,
as a closer examination of his monument,
here in Hyde Park, indicates.
The frieze of the Albert Memorial shows, in sculptural form,
the Valhalla of cultural achievement
as it was seen by the high Victorians.
Now, Brits are hardly under-represented.
After all, Albert was the great patron of the arts and sciences
in Victorian Britain.
But, when it comes to British composers,
as the dress alone tells you, they belong to the 16th, the 17th,
just to the 18th and with a single 19th-century figure,
the justly forgotten Sir Henry Rowley Bishop.
Forgotten, that is, apart from the wonderfully schmaltzy tune
that he wrote to the even more schmaltzy words
of "Home, Sweet, Home".
But, with Albert dead, and Victoria having begun
her long withdrawal from public life to mourn him,
who would lead a campaign to improve this sorry state of affairs?
The answer turned out, still,
to be Albert, now from beyond the grave.
His ideas survived him, as did the profits from the Great Exhibition,
which he'd championed in 1851.
This financial legacy was spent in ways
that changed the course of British music and culture.
Some of it helped build the Albert Hall,
state-of-the-art when it opened,
and still central to Britain's musical life.
And just behind it rose an even more important institution,
one that gave Britain a new musical voice
and trained great British composers, from Gustav Holst,
to Benjamin Britten and beyond.
The Royal College of Music was the direct result of fundraising
by Victoria's children, including the future Edward VII,
then known as Albert, Prince of Wales.
In his opening speech at the Royal College of Music,
Edward quoted approvingly the dictum that...
"Music is the only sensual pleasure
"to which excess cannot be injurious."
Quite how anybody, including his wife,
kept a straight face is beyond me,
for Edward was an expert in excess.
His sexual appetites led to his being called Edward the Caresser,
whilst his gluttony and corpulence got him the nickname of "Tum-tum".
With intellectual pursuits, however, it was quite another matter.
He never picked up a book, and he never bought a decent picture.
Even music, which he genuinely liked,
was acceptable only in small doses.
One act at the opera was usually quite enough,
unless the leading lady were very, very attractive.
The Prince was deadly serious, however,
about the new college's duty.
"The object is inspiring, in every part of the empire,
"those emotions of patriotism which national music
"is calculated so powerfully to evoke."
The Royal College of Music was born from a self-conscious attempt
to re-establish an English national music.
To go behind Handel,
to reconnect English music with its glorious past,
and to enable it to stand alongside its continental peers in Germany,
Italy and France.
There was even talk of an English Musical Renaissance,
with the teachers and pupils of the Royal College of Music
here in the van. The last time there'd been anything like it
was in the 16th and 17th centuries,
when the Chapel Royal was the focus of a thriving English musical life,
and home to geniuses like Tallis, Byrd and Purcell.
The connections between College and the Chapel
went beyond their royal name.
This piece exudes all the elaborate,
polyphonic majesty of the golden age of Elizabethan church music.
# Beati quorum vi
# A integra est...#
But it was written in the 1890s,
by one of the Royal College's founding tutors,
Charles Villiers Stanford, who had spent formative years
as both a chapel organist and a choir conductor.
His music was inspired by the great religious revival of the era,
and would, in turn, further fuel it.
# Qui ambulant in lege... #
In the 19th century, the Church was transformed,
by taking the Protestant Church of England
back to its Catholic roots.
It was called the Oxford Movement.
Today, we'd probably call it "High Church".
So, once more, churches were built in flamboyant colourful Gothic,
like this. They were filled with stained glass and images.
The clergy wore lavish vestments, elaborate rituals were reintroduced
and church music and choirs were revived in all their splendour.
One person, however, resisted these changes.
Victoria was the "low church" figure she'd been since childhood.
She also remained largely withdrawn from public life,
mourning her beloved Albert, decades after his death.
However, if the so-called "Widow of Windsor"
wouldn't go to the new religion and new music,
it would nonetheless come to her, here, in St George's Chapel.
In 1882, the post of Chief Organist here was taken up by Walter Parratt,
who was also the inaugural Professor of Organ
at the Royal College of Music.
Parratt's name isn't as well known today as some of his colleagues',
because few of his compositions have endured.
But this piece is still performed at least four times a year
at St George's Windsor.
While serving as a church organist in Huddersfield and Wigan,
Parratt experienced the full ceremonial majesty
of the High Church movement.
Now, he was able to share that experience with Her Majesty.
When Parratt arrived here, the royal musical diet
was rather restricted. Mendelssohn's "Hear My Prayer",
that beautiful cliche of high Victorian piety,
was performed 18 times in one year,
whilst the same anthem was also performed twice in one week.
# O, for the wings
# For the wings of a dove!
# Far away, far away
# Would I rove... #
Parratt embarked on a vigorous programme of reform.
He rebuilt the organ in the Private Chapel,
whose bellows had been gnawed by rats.
He retrained the choir and he greatly broadened its repertory.
Parratt added pieces by his colleagues
at the Royal College of Music, like Parry and Stanford,
together with masterpieces by earlier royal composers,
like Tallis and Purcell, which had been neglected for centuries.
Thanks to Parratt, St George's set new standards in music-making,
exposing Victoria and her family to the breadth
of the English Musical Renaissance and to its deep roots.
Parratt went on to become the Queen's private organist as well.
He would sometimes be summoned to play for Victoria alone.
After so many lonely years in mourning, music was a solace
and a comfort, and she would listen for hours at a time.
On Queen Victoria's 80th birthday,
Parratt arranged for her to be greeted by an aubade, or morning concert,
performed on the terrace of Windsor Castle.
It included works by Sir Arthur Sullivan, Parratt himself,
and a certain up-and-coming fellow northerner, Elgar.
In gratitude, Victoria sent him a gift - this splendid baton.
It's diamond encrusted, it's got her monogram, VR, in enamel...
..and surmounted by the Imperial Crown.
And, just as the High Church approach to music
revived royal worship, its love of ritual
would help reinvent royal ceremony.
# For every heart made glad by thee
# With thankful praise is swelling... #
This was the official hymn written for Victoria's Diamond Jubilee
in 1897. The music's by Sir Arthur Sullivan.
It was sung at every church across England and Wales to mark
the occasion, and the words refer specifically to the Queen.
# Tis thou hast dower'd our queenly throne
# With sixty years of blessing... #
The whole nation, singing as one, an anthem for the Queen.
For the first time in two centuries, music was unapologetically
proclaiming the quasi-divinity of monarchy.
On June 22nd, St Paul's Cathedral, rarely used for royal occasions
since the reign of Queen Anne nearly two centuries earlier,
was the setting for what the Morning Post called...
"The central ceremonial act of thanksgiving
"and rejoicing over the longest and happiest reign in history."
The Queen had processed through London
in a deliberate revival of the great public pageants
mounted by Tudor and Stuart monarchs,
reinvented for the beginning of the age of the movie camera.
When Victoria arrived at St Paul's, she didn't go inside.
She didn't even get out of her carriage, as the effort,
it has been decided, was simply too great.
Instead, the Queen sat there, as massed choirs,
arranged on the steps here, sang to her.
Among the 500 singers were all the leading composers of the day,
including Walter Parratt and Hubert Parry. Accompanying them
were a full orchestra and two military bands.
It's a long, long way from the decadence of George IV's
private music parties at the Brighton Pavilion,
70-odd years before.
The Monarchy had not only won back popular support,
it was now conducting itself in the most public way imaginable.
One of her sniffy continental relatives was shocked
that the Queen had given thanks to God in the street.
In fact, if Victoria had had her way,
the Jubilee wouldn't have been celebrated at all.
Throughout her reign, the Queen objected to "ostentatious pomp"
as "quite unsuitable to, and incompatible with, the present day".
Only occasionally, and reluctantly, could Victoria be persuaded,
by ministers and other advisers, of the value of public ceremony.
Her people turned out in vast numbers again in 1901,
when the Queen finally bade farewell to her Empire.
For the first time in over 60 years, Britain had a new monarch,
And for the first time in most people's memory,
a coronation would be held.
But what form should it take, in the 20th century?
And what would it sound like?
Edward's first instinct was to be radical.
He even toyed with the idea
of including a new-fangled motor carriage in the Coronation procession.
But he was soon persuaded down a very different path.
Shrewd politicians had understood,
and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations had confirmed, that
Britain's fledgling democracy had a healthy appetite for royal ceremony.
Churchmen too, thanks to the Oxford Movement,
had rediscovered religious ritual and they were learning
to perform it on an ever grander and more effective scale.
The result was that Edward's Coronation was presented
as the embodiment and the culmination of a thousand years
of royal history, which suited Edward perfectly.
Since, unlike his mother, he really enjoyed public ceremony -
and he adored dressing up.
The music too sought to emphasise royal tradition.
The only permanent musical fixture at previous coronations
had been Handel's setting of "Zadok The Priest".
1902, however, established the historical canon
of royal classics, which we now expect to hear at royal occasions.
The musical conductor in chief was Frederick Bridge,
yet another Royal College of Music figure.
He included works by the greatest English composers
from the previous five centuries.
He revived, for instance, a 17th century Amen
by Orlando Gibbons, which would go on to be sung
at every coronation of the 20th century.
Alongside the greats of the past
were new works by contemporary composers, amongst them
Hubert Parry, the head of the Royal College of Music.
He set the traditional text "I Was Glad".
Jeremy, we're looking here at Parry's actual autographed score
that was used in the Abbey itself.
That's right, yes.
Now this is actually the piece of music that opens the whole
Coronation service, covering the entry of the King and the Queen
and their great procession, as they sweep up from the West doors.
Can you explain how this piece works?
Well, the piece began with an orchestral introduction,
which largely featured trumpets.
And the idea of a fanfare really built into
-the music at the beginning.
-So in other words,
the King is actually coming through the doors, there's no need to
just have trumpeters going tootle-tootle-too!
-He's written it.
-He's written it.
-And it's the ballet.
It's an integral part of the piece.
And every movement in the Coronation was to be orchestrated,
was to be accompanied by music.
The Westminster Abbey choir are down at the West door
and they were given the first words, "I Was Glad".
# I was glad
-# Glad when they said unto me...
-The choir then face the King and then turn.
-And begin moving up the Abbey, that way.
I think the idea is it is in a way a march, I think
that Parry conceived it that way.
And then he had this antiphony
between the Abbey Choir on the one sense
and this is answered by the general choir, or second choir.
And it's building up to the first main climax, which,
if we step over the page here, our tempo, largamente.
Queen, followed by King, at this point are due to walk through
the great choir screen of the Abbey and enter the choir itself,
with, in front of them, the steps and the platform,
the theatre, on which they're going to be crowned.
We turn over, heavens, it all stops and it goes completely blank
and we've got King's Scholars of Westminster School Vivat,
long live Regina Alexandria, long live the Queen,
and then later on long live the King.
# Vivat Regina
# Vivat Regina
# Vivat! # Vivat!
# Vivat... #
This of course is the moment that goes right back to the first
coronation in the Abbey, which is William the Conqueror,
where the people are all supposed to cry out, "Long Live the King!"
In Latin, "Vivat! Vivat! Vivat!"
This again has been turned into ballet, into music theatre.
And then we have this wonderful moment, where we move into
a brand new key and this is undoubtedly to take us
into another world.
On the word dolce.
Gently, yes, sweetly.
And this is really to accompany this rather beautiful semi chorus,
or solo quartet, "O Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem."
# O pray for the peace of Jerusalem... #
And this would have been a moment of great repose,
as they moved through and you know, they prepared for prayer
and so on, much reduced orchestration.
-Imperial pomp and circumstance cuts off.
-We remember now we're going to consecrate.
-And also swear oaths.
And then it moves back into the march at this point.
It's actually marked, isn't it?
Lento alla Marcia.
And this is all really in preparation for the drama
of the last chorus.
He then takes us back to B flat for the last two or three
pages of music and for this top B flat, this piercing B flat.
It's hard to imagine a more majestic start to a religious service than
Parry's music, which is why it's been revived at every coronation
since, and is still sung in churches across Britain to this day.
And yet Edward's crowning inspired
another, still more iconic, composition.
It wasn't, however, written for the Abbey.
The Coronation was also celebrated by the Royal Opera House,
where the new King was invited to be the guest of honour
at a gala concert, with music written by a rather different Edward.
Edward Elgar was the son of a shopkeeper,
a self-taught musician and a Roman Catholic.
That made him an outsider compared to the Royal College of Music
establishment, but Elgar understood public taste better than any
native-born composer for centuries.
Elgar was championed at court by Walter Parratt,
who suggested the revival of a musical tradition, the royal ode.
This was a form at which Purcell and Handel had once excelled -
though they never wrote anything on this scale.
Rarely heard in its entirety today, Elgar's Coronation Ode was
wildly popular when it was written and it's not hard to see why.
A sort of miniature oratorio, in length, if not in forces,
it's set for choir, soloists, and a huge orchestra.
The mood veers wildly - bombastic, sentimental, bellicose, expansive.
They're not very popular qualities today, but they pretty much sum up
Edwardian England, and the new King who gave his name to the age.
If you had a hefty dose of melancholy,
also glimpsed in the music, you've got Elgar, too.
Elgar saw himself as a troubadour,
giving voice to the spirit of the age, and above all giving it tunes.
The court's pet poet, AC Benson,
wrote most of the Ode's words before Elgar started composing.
But there was one point
where the music definitely came before the text.
"Gosh, man, I've got a tune in my head,"
Elgar wrote to his publisher at the beginning of 1901.
Elgar recognised immediately that he was on to a winner -
"a damn fine popular tune that will knock 'em flat,"
as he put it.
He made it the trio of his Pomp And Circumstance March No 1,
which, when it was premiered later in 1901, duly knocked 'em flat
and received standing ovations and an unheard-of triple encore.
But the tune was just too good not to use again.
Later, Elgar liked to claim that it was King Edward
who had come up with the idea.
But, alas for the legend,
this is impossible, as the two men hadn't yet met.
Instead it seems certain that it was Elgar himself who
realised that the tune would make a magnificent finale
to the Coronation Ode, and asked Benson to come up with words to match.
Elgar's music publishers immediately saw the commercial potential
of this tune as a standalone song,
but asked for new lyrics to give it still wider popular appeal.
This is why Benson penned the most gloriously tub-thumpingly
jingoistic of his verses.
"Land Of Hope And Glory" rapidly became our alternative
national anthem, and it remains such a definitive statement of British
national identity, that few remember that it was created for a King.
And it is not just the music of Edward VII's reign that has
endured - so too has the elaborate ceremony and pageantry
that he so much adored.
WILD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
George V's coronation, just nine years later,
followed the same template, but with even more music.
# We praise thee
# We bless thee
# We worship thee... #
Charles Villiers Stanford wrote this "Gloria" for the occasion,
which went on to be revived in 1937 and 1953.
Many years later,
George V's son still recalled the power of the music.
"In that gorgeous, glittering assemblage,
"listening to the fanfares of trumpets,
"the rich tones of the organ and the voices of the choir, I became
"aware as never before of the true majesty and solemnity of kingship."
Yet George found his coronation "a terrible ordeal".
He hated public appearance, almost as much
as his grandmother, Queen Victoria.
He even found that wearing the Crown gave him a splitting headache.
Yet more strikingly,
he was the first really unmusical monarch for generations.
He enjoyed catchy tunes from No, No, Nanette,
but thought that a Covent Garden performance
of Beethoven's "Fidelio" was
"damn dull". And he drove the Royalist Elgar to paroxysms of rage
at the hopelessly and irredeemably vulgar quality of his court.
So why did he go through with five whole hours of musical pageantry?
Out of a sense of duty.
He believed that his people wanted him to.
Duty was a sort of talisman
which drew the sting of royal splendour
and reconciled it to an ever greyer, more democratic age.
Ceremony ceased to be princely self-indulgence, as under
George IV or Edward VII, and it became instead noble self-sacrifice,
which bound the King in service to the nation, as unremittingly
as the factory hand to his work, the agricultural labourer to his toil,
even the millions who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War.
# And did those feet In ancient time
# Walk upon England's mountains green... #
It was the anti-German feeling of the Great War which led
George to rename the Hanoverian Monarchy as the House of Windsor
in 1917, the year after Hubert Parry had written
that great hymn to England - Jerusalem.
# And did the countenance divine
# Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
# And was Jerusalem builded here
# Among these dark Satanic Mills? #
The composers of the English Musical Renaissance
were now writing for a veritable religion of nationhood,
of which the monarch was both high priest and sacred head.
# Bring me my bow of burning gold
# Bring me my arrows of desire
# Bring me my spear
# O clouds unfold... #
The King recognised the moral value of Parry's song,
and for the rest of his reign, heard it often, at commemorations
of the Armistice, and also at vast celebrations of Empire.
In 1935, for George V's Silver Jubilee command performance
held in the Royal Albert Hall
and broadcast across the empire via the BBC.
"His Majesty, having in mind the values of the pursuit of music,
"has desired to encourage national music-making in as comprehensive and
"representative a way as possible."
The BBC, founded in 1922, would, from this point on,
play a major role in promoting both the music and the Monarchy
of Britain, broadcasting the Monarch's annual Christmas Speech,
as well as a daily diet of British composers, such as Elgar.
And in 1937, it broadcast the Coronation of the new King,
For the first time,
many millions of people could follow the ceremony live.
'The Archbishop of Canterbury presents King George to the people.'
'Here I present unto you King George, your undoubted King.'
It was actually the BBC who commissioned one of the pieces
which has endured from the occasion -
William Walton's march, Crown Imperial.
Walton, like Elgar, was an outsider, an Oldham lad whose
precocious musical talent had won him a scholarship to Oxford.
Now he was writing for the biggest audience of his career,
and his music rose to the occasion.
It's another one of these big tunes. It has lots of these big tunes.
He looked back at the tradition, of the early part of the 20th century,
to Elgar, to Parry and others.
It's also sometimes, perhaps cruelly, described
as film music, isn't it?
And maybe the Coronation of '37, now being thought of filmically,
-rather than operatically.
-Yes, I think
there's certainly a visual element to "Crown Imperial".
One of the things that I think is so distinctively Walton is
this rhythmic vibrancy, this energy,
you know it's Walton immediately because of that rhythmic dynamism.
The monarchy had clearly adapted to the world of mass media
and, indeed, mass democracy.
And it had done so, in part and paradoxically,
by embracing the tradition, and the music, of the past.
When George was succeeded by his daughter,
everyone from the popular press to Winston Churchill,
hailed the beginning of a new Elizabethan age.
The Queen's 16th-century namesake
had resided over a golden age of music,
so the 1953 Coronation was the perfect opportunity
to show the deep roots and enduring quality of British music.
All the recent additions to the canon, such as
Stanford and Parry, made their reappearance,
along with new work by Walton again, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
At this stage, the grand old man of English music,
Vaughan Williams had spent the 20th century
applying what he had learned at the Royal College of Music.
Vaughan Williams was firmly on the left politically, and he was
an assiduous collector of popular music in the form of folk songs.
So, coming from this kind of background,
he thought it a great weakness that previous coronations hadn't
included a hymn for congregational singing.
But, when he suggested including one in 1953, he split opinion.
The Musical Advisory Committee was not at all convinced,
however, the Archbishop of Canterbury was enthusiastic
and the Queen herself thought well of the idea.
This was decisive,
and Vaughan Williams got his way with this democratic musical reform.
The result was heard at the moment
when the Queen processed from her throne to the altar.
It's a piece that has been sung in the Church of England
since the age of the first Queen Elizabeth,
the so-called "Old Hundredth".
The Scot, William Keith,
wrote this translation of Psalm 100 in the 1550s.
400 years later, his words were still being sung to the tune
that it was published with then.
Some of the later verses are embellished by Vaughan Williams.
Here, he writes a trumpet descant which adds an extra regal dignity
as well as echoing the fanfares traditional at such occasions.
Vaughan Williams' own compositions often paid homage
to the great Elizabethan composers.
In his Abbey arrangement of the "Old Hundredth", he paid tribute to
another, John Dowland, who was the author of this beautiful harmony.
I think there was that sense of historical link
and embracing of something to say,
"Look, this is what we are, this is us, we are musical nation."
60 years have passed since the Coronation of 1953,
and already it seems a world away.
So much has changed in the intervening decades.
Elizabeth, of course, still reigns over us to this day.
But though music is still used to celebrate royal occasions,
it no longer really serves to sanctify royalty.
And yet, as I've argued throughout this series,
it was the idea that monarchy has a sacred role and power
which inspired the greatest of our music.
In the reigns of Tudors and Stuarts
and through, extraordinarily,
to the first decades of the 20th century,
it was sacred monarchy which people fought over
and prayed for and composed for.
But, do any of us really believe
that monarchy still has such divine power?
Now, the sacred monarchy survives only in its music.
But there at least it remains eternally, magnificently, alive.
It echoes from these ancient stones, awakens memories,
and, through the power of music,
makes them live again!
MUSIC: Zadok The Priest, by Handel
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd