Decca Records is proud to release The Official Recording of The Royal Wedding, one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Having recorded the entire service live at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle today, every piece of music, the readings, blessings and the vows will be available to listen to permanently on all streaming services in just a few hours: a first for a Royal Wedding. The physical album, on CD, will then be released into retail stores around the world from 25th May. The recording will also be made available on vinyl. The album cover will be replaced with an exclusive photograph from the wedding.
The musical highlight of the moving and joyous ceremony was British cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, one of the most exciting musicians of his generation, who was personally asked by the bride and groom to perform at their wedding. The 19-year-old musician took centre stage for the all-important signing of the register. Dressed in a black Paul Smith suit with vibrant pink tie, Sheku played three beautiful pieces: Sicilienne by von Paradis, Schubert’s Ave Maria, and Apres Un Reave by Faur. He was accompanied by orchestra*, as the Royal Couple officially became husband and wife. Knowing he was performing not only for the Royal Family, 600 invited guests in the Chapel, and an estimated global audience of up to three billion people, the talented teenager was thrilled to be involved in the occasion.
“It was such an awesome moment, just really incredible to perform for Prince Harry and Meghan at their wedding! The atmosphere was amazing and I’m proud to have played a small part in the celebrations. It’s a day I will remember for the rest of my life,” Sheku Kanneh-Mason (Cellist).
Enhancing the emotion of the occasion, the personal musical choices of Prince Harry and his new wife, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, include Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine, John Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You and the hymn Lord Of All Hopefulness, as well as two popular tracks performed by The Kingdom Choir conducted by Karen Gibson: Ben E. King’s hit song Stand By Me and the gospel tune This Little Light Of Mine. The orchestra was fronted by Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and accompanied by trumpet player David Blackadder, organist Luke Bond and State Trumpeters from the Band of the Household Cavalry.
The album’s producer is one of the world’s most experienced, Anna Barry. Grammy nominated Ms Barry has produced over 500 recordings over 25 years, ranging from works by Andrew Lloyd Webber to opera at the Mariinsky Theatre with Valery Gergiev, and many other legendary artists including Jos Carreras and Zubin Mehta.
In a feat of both musical engineering and co-ordination, Anna and the team are delivering a state of the art recording in record-breaking time. The complicated logistical process includes the digital transfer from St George’s Chapel to the mastering in a Kensington studio in order to reach digital platforms faster even than for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The producer said of the recording, “It is a massive responsibility with absolutely no room for error, so I will be relieved when it’s over, but very happy and honoured to be a part of this day,” Anna Barry (Record Producer).
Decca Records is part of Universal Music, the world’s leading music company, and has previously recorded and released the Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, as well as the Wedding of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. This uniquely original new recording, released today, will be the next in a historic line to mark major milestones for The Royal Family, and as such it will enter the homes of millions across the whole world.
Rebecca Allen, President of Decca Records commented: Decca are hugely honoured to have been involved in recording this remarkable day. The choices of music, and the artists involved, were of the highest quality and will now be available for everyone around the world to listen back to, again and again.
Dickon Stainer, President & CEO, Global Classics & Jazz said: “Every word and every note of music from this historic event are now captured forever in the highest quality sound recording. It is something magical and unforgettable.”
Decca will make a donation per album sold to support the charitable work of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Royal Foundation is used as the main vehicle for Their Royal Highnesses’ philanthropic activities, including programmes such as Heads Together, Coach Core, and the Endeavour Fund (reg. charity no. 1132048). Ms. Markle will join The Royal Foundation as its fourth Patron following her marriage.
*The orchestra is made up of musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green.
1. Royal Salute (The Arrival Of Her Majesty The Queen And His Royal Highness The Duke Of Edinburgh) The State Trumpeters
2. Rejoicing (The Arrival Of The Bride) The State Trumpeters
3. Handel: Eternal Source of Light Divine (Birthday Ode for Queen Anne) HWV 74 Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano)
4. The Welcome The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, Dean Of Windsor
5. The Preface The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, Dean Of Windsor
6. Traditional: Lord Of All Hopefulness Luke Bond (organ), James Vivian (conductor), Choir Of St.George’s Chapel, Windsor
7. The Declarations Prince Harry, Ms Meghan Markle, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury
8. The Collect The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury
9. Reading From The Song Of Solomon Lady Jane Fellowes
10. Tallis: If Ye Love Me James Vivian (conductor), Choir Of St.George’s Chapel, Windsor
11. The Address The Most Reverend Michael Curry
12. Stand By Me The Kingdom Choir, Karen Gibson (conductor)
13. The Vows Prince Harry, Ms Meghan Markle, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury
14. The Giving Of The Rings Prince Harry, Ms Meghan Markle, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury
15. The Proclamation The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury
16. Rutter: The Lord Bless You and Keep You Luke Bond (organ), James Vivian (conductor), Choir Of St.George’s Chapel, Windsor
17. The Blessing Of The Marriage The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury
18. The Prayers Archbishop Angaelos, The Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin
19. Hughes, Williams: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer Luke Bond (organ), James Vivian (conductor), Choir Of St.George’s Chapel, Windsor
20. The Blessing The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO, Dean Of Windsor
21. von Paradis: Sicilienne in E Flat Major (Arr. Hazell) Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello), Christopher Warren-Green (conductor), Members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra
22. Faur Apres Un Reave, Op.7 (Arr. Hazell) Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello), Christopher Warren-Green (conductor), Members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra
23. Schubert: Ave Maria, D.839 (Arr. Hazell) Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello), Christopher Warren-Green (conductor), Members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra
24. Traditional: National Anthem The State Trumpeters, Luke Bond (organ), Christopher Warren-Green (conductor), Members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, James Vivian (choir conductor), Choir Of St.George’s Chapel, Windsor
25. Boyce: 1. Allegro (Symphony No.1 in B flat Major) Christopher Warren-Green (conductor), Members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra
26. Amen, This Little Light Of Mine The Kingdom Choir, Karen Gibson (conductor)
27. Traditional: Grandsire Triples Quarter Peal Bell Ringers Of St George’s
NB. Bold titles indicate spoken word
About Decca Records
Decca is one of the world’s iconic record labels. The logo has been associated with some of recorded music’s defining acts: The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Luciano Pavarotti and Ella Fitzgerald to name a few. In recent years Decca Records has been selected as the official label partner of high profile events such as the 2011 Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the London 2012 Olympics and the 2016 Paralympics. Decca is also home to such diverse and distinctive artists as Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, Gregory Porter, Melody Gardot, Aurora, The Shires, Ludovico Einaudi, Imelda May, Alfie Boe, The Lumineers and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Find out more at: decca.com
About Sheku Kanneh-Mason
19-year-old cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is one of the brightest young stars in classical music. He won BBC Young Musician 2016, made his BBC Proms debut the following year, and released his debut album, Inspiration, on Decca the year after that. Sheku is currently a student at the Royal Academy of Music and combines his studies there with an increasingly busy international concert career. He is passionate about making classical music accessible to all and is Junior Ambassador for the music education charity London Music Masters. Prince Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London last June supporting the work of Antiguan children’s charities through the Halo Foundation.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at: www.universalmusic.com