Tone Poem Tuesday (God Save the Queen!)

OK, posting a march is probably stretching the definition of “tone poem” to the breaking point. So be it. In honor of the wedding the other day of Prince Harry (who is my favorite royal, likely because of the eternal “Do you believe that this is my life?!” gleam in his eye) to Meghan Markle, here is the Britishest of all British marches*. Seriously, if this doesn’t make you want to do the whole “Stiff upper lip, lads!” thing, there’s just not a drop of British affinity in you.

Here is William Walton’s “Crown Imperial” March, written for the coronation of King Edward VIII. That particular king abdicated the throne before the coronation, however, so the march ended up being used for the crowning of King George VI instead. You know how it is.

* OK, fine, there is a march that’s just slightly more British than Walton’s “Crown Imperial,” and here it is. God Save the Queen!

(Note how the British audience there bobs up and down in rhythm to the music. This is one of the most endearing bits of audience participation in classical music that I know, probably second only to the clapping along with the “Radetzky March” at the New Year’s Concert in Vienna.)

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