With just weeks to go before the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, further details of music for the ceremony, which includes a brand-new piece by a University of Aberdeen composer, have been revealed.
Professor Paul Mealor has composed a setting of the ‘Kyrie’ (Lord, have mercy upon us) for the choirs of Westminster Abbey and His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, accompanied by organ, with the world-renowned Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel CBE as soloist.
The ‘Kyrie’, which traditionally opens mass, is normally sung in Greek. However, Mealor was specifically commissioned by His Majesty The King to set his ‘Kyrie’ in a Welsh language version.
He said: “It is the most amazing honour to be asked not only to produce a piece of music for such an important historic occasion but to be given the opportunity to showcase our Celtic heritage.
“As the longest serving Prince of Wales, this is very fitting for His Majesty. We have a King who has shown great support for a wide variety of music over many years and is a passionate advocate for music.”
It will be the first time that Welsh has been sung at a coronation.
Professor Mealor, who is Chair in Composition at the University of Aberdeen, added: “It is a meditative, introspective piece based on a blend between Gregorian chant and ‘Cerdd Dant’ (Welsh Penillion singing - an important part of eisteddfodau). I was inspired by the great Welsh hymns – Aberystwyth, Cwn Rhondda, Ar Lan Y Môr – and the composition is ‘coloured’ by the harmonies of these hymns. It is a cry from the deep soul of the hills and valleys of Wales for hope, peace, love and friendship.”