As the monarchy is central to the history and government of England, so it is part of its musical heritage. Crown Imperial, also known as Coronation March, came to life during a turbulent time for the British crown. Composer William Walton originally composed the march for King Edward VII’s coronation, set for May 12, 1937. However, when Edward abdicated the throne in 1936, his brother, King George VI, became king to the tune of Crown Imperial instead.
2019–2020 SERIES: GREAT COMPOSERS
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Concert Content Highlights
Ralph Vaughan Williams was among the wave of European composers of the time who were interested in utilizing and recording folk music. Vaughan Williams found inspiration in English literature and traditional song, often quoting or imitating British folk tunes in his compositions. He was even a member of the English Folk Song Society, whose members sought to collect traditional music of the British Isles. Nine of these tunes found a place in the composer’s three-movement English Folk Song Suite, which was originally written for military band.
If you think the main themes from Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Henry Purcell’s Rondeau from Abdelazer Suite are similar, you’re right. Purcell, a Baroque composer, wrote incidental music in 1695 to accompany performances of the play by Aphra Behn, Abdelazer, also known as The Moor’s Revenge. The second movement of the 10-movement suite is one of Purcell’s most recognizable tunes and was the inspiration for Britten’s work.
It’s easy to draw parallels between Emmanuel Chabrier’s Espana and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol, pieces that the Evanston Symphony Orchestra will perform on February 4 at 2:30 p.m. Both were written about the same time in the 1880s and draw on the music and culture of Spain. But there is another similarity: Neither composer was actually Spanish.