Royal Wedding music announced

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Master of the Queen’s Music conspicuous by his absence

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The music for the Royal Wedding has been announced, but includes no work by The Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Sir Peter, who recently received rave reviews for his opera Kommilitonen!, had been put on standby by Prince William and Kate Middleton, but in the end was not commissioned to write the music for the service at Westminster Abbey.

The ceremony will feature compositions by Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams, while hymns include Parry's famous setting of Jerusalem. The bride will be walking up the aisle to Parry’s verse-anthem ‘I was glad’, originally composed for the crowning of Edward VII, Prince William’s great-great-great grandfather, at the Abbey in 1902.

Sir Peter may have been overlooked, but two works by living British composers do make an appearance. John Rutter’s ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made’ has been commissioned by Westminster Abbey as a wedding present to the couple, and will be sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choir. Rutter’s motet will be followed by ‘Ubi caritas’, a choral work composed by Paul Mealor, who lives on Angelsey.

Maxwell Davies’s music, including Farewell to Stromness, will be heard as guests gather beforehand. He is also currently working on his Ninth Symphony – Affairs of State – which will be dedicated to The Queen herself and will be ready in time for the Diamond Jubilee.

Jemma Kaiser