The Full Wiki

Coronation Ode: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coronation Ode, Op 44 is a work composed by Sir Edward Elgar for soprano, contralto, tenor and bass soloists, chorus and orchestra, with words by A. C. Benson.

It was written for the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902, and dedicated "by Special Permission, to His Most Gracious Majesty King Edward VII". But the Coronation was postponed[1] due to the King being ill, so the first performance was not until 2 October 1902 at the Sheffield Festival, by the Sheffield Choir, soloists Agnes Nicholls, Muriel Foster, John Coates and David Ffrangcon Davies, with Elgar conducting. The first London performance was at Covent Garden on 26 October 1902.

There are six parts:

I - Introduction: "Crown the King", for soloists and chorus
II - (a) "The Queen", for chorus; (b) "Daughter of ancient Kings", for chorus
III - "Britain, ask of thyself", for bass soloist and men's chorus
IV - (a) "Hark upon the hallowed air" for soprano and tenor soloists, followed by (b) "Only let the heart be pure", for soprano, contralto, tenor and bass soloists
V - "Peace, gentle peace", for soprano, contralto, tenor and bass soloists and chorus unaccompanied
VI - Finale: "Land of hope and glory", contralto soloist, with chorus

Contents

History

Queen Victoria died in January 1901 and preparations for the coronation of her son King Edward VII were soon under way. Late that year the Covent Garden Grand Opera Syndicate commissioned Elgar to write a work to be premiered at a Royal gala on the eve of the Coronation which was planned for July of the next year. Elgar himself invited A. C. Benson (perhaps at the instance of the King) to provide the libretto: Benson was a musician as well as a writer, and the collaboration was close and successful.

The King suggested to Elgar that words could be provided to the Trio section of the first Pomp and Circumstance March, which he liked: Elgar took up the King's suggestion[2] and asked Benson to provide words so that the tune could form the climax of the Ode.

Elgar began writing in February 1902 and by the end of March he had finished the vocal score, which at that time consisted of parts I, III, IV, V and VI. Benson then realised that there needed to be a song referring to Queen Alexandra, and added "Daughter of ancient Kings" which Elgar reluctantly placed after "Crown the King", as he had wanted to follow that with "Britain, ask of thyself".

The publishers, Booseys, realising its popularity, asked Elgar to revise "Land of hope and glory" so it could be produced as a separate song, and this was in fact sung by Clara Butt with great success at a "Coronation Concert" a week before the Ode was first performed in London.

The work was published for five royal occasions:[3]

  • the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 - "Daughter of ancient Kings", personal to Queen Alexandra, was only used for this occasion - used parts I, II (b), III, IV (a & b), V and VI
  • the Coronation of King George V in 1911 - "The Queen" replaced "Daughter of ancient Kings", and the prayer "Peace, gentle peace" was (ominously) omitted - used parts I, II (a), III, IV (a & b) and VI
  • the Jubilee Edition for King George V in 1935 used parts I, II (a), IV (a & b) and VI only
  • the Coronation of King George VI in 1937 used parts I, II (a), IV (b) and VI only
  • the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 - "Crown the King" became "Crown the Queen" - used parts I, II (a & b), III, IV (a & b) and VI only

Lyrics

Advertisements

"Crown the King"

I - "Crown the King" - Introduction Soloists and Chorus

Crown the King with Life!
    Through our thankful state
    Let the cries of hate
    Die in joy away;
Cease ye sounds of strife!
    Lord of Life, we pray,
Crown the King with Life!

Crown the King with Might!
    Let the King be strong,
    Hating guile and wrong,
    He that scorneth pride.
Fearing truth and right,
    Feareth nought beside;
Crown the King with Might!

Crown the King with Peace,
    Peace that suffers long,
    Peace that maketh strong,
    Peace with kindly wealth,
As the years increase,
    Nurse of joy and health;
Crown the King with Peace!

Crown the King with Love!
    To his land most dear
    He shall bend to hear
    Ev'ry pleading call;
Loving God above,
    With a heart for all;
Crown the King with Love!

Crown the King with Faith!
    God, the King of Kings,
    Ruleth earthly things;
    God of great and small,
Lord of Life and Death,
    God above us all!
Crown the King with Faith!

God shall save the King,
    God shall make him great,
    God shall guard the state;
    All that hearts can pray,
All that lips can sing,
    God shall hear today;

Crown the King with Life
    with Might, with Peace, with Love, with Faith!

God shall save the King,
    God shall make him great,
    God shall guard the state;
    All that hearts can pray,
All that lips can sing,
    God shall hear today;
God shall save the King!

(a) "The Queen" (b) "Daughter of ancient Kings"

II - (a) "The Queen" - Chorus

True Queen of British homes and hearts
    Of guileless faith and sterling worth,
We yield you ere today departs,
    The proudest, purest crown on earth!

We love you well for England's sake,
    True you shall prove, as you have proved;
The years that come shall only make
    Your name more honoured, more belov'd.

Oh kind and wise, the humblest heart
    That beats in all your realms today
Knows well that it can claim its part
    In all you hope, in all you pray.


II - (b) "Daughter of ancient Kings" - Chorus "A Greeting to Her Gracious Majesty, Queen Alexandra"

    Daughter of ancient Kings,
    Mother of Kings to be,
Gift that the bright wind bore on his sparkling wings,
    Over the Northern sea![4]

    Nothing so sweet he brings,
    Nothing so fair to see,
Purest, stateliest, daughter of ancient Kings,
    Mother of Kings to be!

"Britain, ask of thyself"

III "Britain, ask of thyself" - Solo Bass and Chorus (Tenor and Bass)

Britain, ask of thyself, and see that thy sons be strong,
    See that thy sons be strong,
    Strong to arise and go,
    See that thy sons be strong,

See that thy navies speed, to the sound of the battle-song;
    Then, when the winds are up, and the shuddering bulwarks reel,
    Smite, the mountainous wave, and scatter the flying foam,
    Big with the battle-thunder that echoeth load, loud and long;

Britain, ask of thyself, and see that thy sons be strong,
    See that thy sons be strong,
    Strong to arise and go,
    If ever the war-trump peal;

See that thy squadrons haste, when loos'd are the hounds of hell;
    Then shall the eye flash fire, and the valourous heart grow light,
    Under the drifting smoke, and the scream of the flying shell,
    When the hillside hisses with death, and never a foe in sight.
    Britain, ask of thyself, and see that thy sons be strong.

So shall thou rest in peace, enthron'd in thine island home.
    So shall thou rest in peace,
    Enthron'd in thine island home,
    So shall thou rest in peace, enthron'd in thine island home.

Britain, ask of thyself,
    Britain, ask of thyself, see that thy sons be strong,
    Strong to arise, arise and go, see that thy sons be strong.
    See that thy sons be strong,
    Strong to arise and go, if ever the war-trump peal!

(a) "Hark, upon the hallowed air" (b) "Only let the heart be pure"

IV (a) "Hark, upon the hallowed air" - Soli (Soprano and Tenor)

Tenor
Hark, upon the hallow'd air,
    Spirits pure of sight and sense,
Hov'ring visions, rich and fair,
    Lend their radiant influence!
Airy powr's of Earth and Sky
Bless our meet solemnity.

Soprano
Music, sweetest child of heav'n,
    At thy touch the heart is free,
Ancient wrongs by thee forgiv'n,
    Cares uplifted, heal'd by thee,
Listen smiling, borne along
In the sacred, sacred tide of song.

Tenor
Music, music of the poet's heart!
    Widening yet the echoes roll;
Fiery secrets, wing'd by art,
    Light the lonely list'ning soul,
Till the aching silence rings
With the beat of heav'nly wings.

Soprano
Magic web of woven hues,
    Tender shadow, linked line,
Sweet mysterious avenues
    Opening out to Light Divine!
Painter-poet, thou canst teach
More than frail and falt'ring speech.


IV (b) "Only let the heart be pure" - Quartet (S.A.T.B.)

Only let the heart be pure,
    Pure in steadfast innocence,
Stainless honour, strong and sure,
    Stem the ardent tide of sense!

So shall Wisdom, one with Truth,
    Keep undimm'd the fires of youth,
Strong to conquer, strong to bless,
    Britain, Heaven hath made thee great!

Courage knit with gentleness,
    Best befits thy sober state.
As the golden days increase,
    Crown thy victories with peace!

"Peace, gentle peace"

V "Peace, gentle peace" - Soli (S.A.T.B.) and Chorus unaccompanied

Peace, gentle Peace, who, smiling through thy tears,
Returnest, when the sounds of war are dumb ...
Our earth is fain for thee! Return and come.

"Land of hope and glory"

VI - "Land of hope and glory" - Finale (Contralto Solo and Tutti)

Solo
    Land of hope and glory,
        Mother of the free,
    How shall we extol thee,
        who are born of thee?
    Truth and Right and Freedom,
        each a holy gem,
    Stars of solemn brightness,
        weave thy diadem.

Chorus
    'Tho thy way be darken'd,
        still in splendour drest,
    As the star that trembles
        o'er the liquid West.
    Thron'd amid the billows,
        thron'd inviolate,
    Thou hast reign'd victorious,
        thou hast smil'd at fate.

Soloists and Chorus
    Land of hope and glory,
        Fortress of the free,
    How shall we extol thee?
        praise thee, honour thee?
    Hark! a mighty nation
        maketh glad reply;
    Lo, our lips are thankful;
        lo, our hearts are high!
    Hearts in hope uplifted,
        loyal lips that sing;
    Strong in Faith and Freedom,
        we have crowned our King!

References

  • Kennedy, Michael (1987). Portrait of Elgar (Third edition ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0192840177.  
  • Moore, Jerrold N. (1984). Edward Elgar: a creative life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0193154471.  

Recordings

Notes

  1. ^ The coronation was originally scheduled for 26th June 1902, but two days before then the King was diagnosed with appendicitis and had to undergo an emergency life-saving operation: so the coronation was postponed until 9th August.
  2. ^ This was despite strong advice to the contrary, notably from his friend August Jaeger
  3. ^ Vocal scores published by Booseys
  4. ^ Alexandra of Denmark from "Over the Northern sea" was Queen Consort to King Edward VII

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message