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The Crown Imperial


SOMM Recordings

Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0138




A Premier Recording


Release date: July 2014


The London Symphonic Concert Band

Conductor: Tom Higgins


Britain witnessed four coronations in the 20th century. Four new monarchs came to the throne whose praises were played and sung throughout the land indeed throughout the world.

Many composers were either commissioned or inspired to commemorate these events, ranging from the ever popular Sir Edward Elgar, Sir William Walton, Sir Edward German and Camille Saint-Saëns to the much less familiar Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the forgotten Percy Godfrey through to the more contemporary Sir Arnold Bax and Sir Arthur Bliss. John Philip Sousa, the celebrated American composer and conductor also caught the spirit of the moment with one of his legendary marches.

The 11 marches recorded here display an excitement and grandeur appropriate to a state and religious occasion. They also highlight some of the finest ceremonial music composed in the 20th century, while reflecting the changing styles in music over the years.

Some of these marches have never been recorded by a concert band before, despite transcriptions being made soon after their composition. One reason for this CD is to show how, in times past, the general public would have first heard these pieces.  The largest number is by British composers, but the inclusion of some foreign ones demonstrates the world-wide attraction of a British coronation.

This recording of Elgar’s Coronation March Op 65 is the first to be made of Tom Higgins’ transcription for concert band.

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