I must admit, I was one of those poor West-coast souls who awoke at 1am on Friday morning to begin watching all the pomp and circumstance of the royal wedding of William and Kate (or Katherine as apparently all the news anchors were instructed to refer to her). My mother claims she will never forget watching Diana and Charles’ wedding 30 years ago. And now, after having sat in the dark of my apartment for nearly 2 hours watching the live coverage of today’s event, I’m not sure I will either. The dress uniforms, the wedding gown, the vintage cars, the tall trees, and the celebrity guests all were completely appealing to watch. But, what has resonated with me all day is the utter beauty of the music. I realize classical choral music is not for every moment of every ordinary day. However, just like a gospel choir can faultlessly capture the bitter-sweetness of a funeral, or a great anthem can really change a moment, the chorus and the orchestra in the abbey today gave the occasion a sense of romantic grandiosity and the wherewithal to transport the some two-billion probable viewers into the moment. It truly was moving.
The Choirs of Westminster Abbey and Chapel Royal sang at the occasion, the organ was played by Robert Quinney, and the Royal Chamber Orchestra and the military bands accompanied them. You can find a rundown of the hymns chosen by the couple on their official wedding site and you can buy the list of songs on iTunes if you search “music for a royal wedding”.