Composer has 'enormous privilege' of writing song for King's Coronation

Professor Paul Mealor is among 12 chosen to write for the historic occasion at Westminster Abbey.

An Aberdeen University composer said it’s an “enormous privilege” to be hand-picked  by the King to compose a song for his Coronation.

Professor Paul Mealor is among 12 composers who have been chosen to write for the historic occasion at Westminster Abbey.

The renowned composer is no stranger to creating pieces for high-profile royal events.

He has composed a number of pieces for royal ceremonies, including writing music for the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 2011.

So little wonder that he has been personally chosen by the King to compose a new piece for his Coronation.

He told STV News: “It’s an enormous privilege. I wasn’t alive at the last coronation, so to be part of history really is remarkable – and to be specifically asked to do it by the King is a great thing.

“I’ve written a number of pieces for the Royal Family over the years and it doesn’t get any easier.

“In fact it gets harder, because you now know what they like!

“I was asked before Christmas and of course I said yes. Then what I do is I sit down and write it straight away, because I think the more I think about it the more daunting it becomes.

“What I want to do is I want to try and transport people into this world I’m creating and set the scene,’ he explained.

His ‘Coronation Kyrie’ will be among 12 special commissions for the occasion.

Traditionally it opens mass and is sung in Greek.

However at the King’s request, it will be performed in Welsh by Sir Bryn Terfel.

It will be the first time the Welsh language has been sung at a coronation.

Professor Mealor also composed a song for the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 2011 Sean Gallup / Staff via Getty Images

“To set it in the language of where I’m from has been an incredible privilege,” Prof Mealor said.

“You can’t get closer to someone’s heart than their voice, their language so for me this is a wonderful first.

“‘Coronation Kyrie’ is the religious aspect of the coronation and so my piece has to bring the congregation into the presence of God.  

“It has to have that gentleness to get you into that spirit, away from the pomp and ceremony and what matters in the coronation.

“It is a cry from the deep soul of the hills and valleys of Wales for hope, love and friendship.”

In just under two weeks, the royal composer’s composition for the coronation will be unveiled to the world – and he admitted it can feel quite a daunting prospect.

He added: “Writing a piece of music is like having children. They are out into the world and of course you are nervous and protective so I will feel a bit like that when it’s happening.

“However, in the end it has its own life and does its own thing. I hope it does what I intend it to do which is  give a moment of stillness.”

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