Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

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lennygoran
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Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by lennygoran » Sat May 19, 2018 11:41 am

Sue and I were watching this very different kind of wedding ceremony--I'm no musical cello expert-how did he do? Regards, Len :D



Sheku Kanneh-Mason, royal wedding cellist, gives breathtaking performance.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason was personally asked by Meghan to perform at the royal wedding. In 2016 he became the first black musician to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year award
The 19-year-old has been playing cello since he was 6


Sheku Kanneh-Mason, royal wedding cellist, gives breathtaking performance

By Bianca Britton, CNN



(CNN)All eyes were on 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason as he performed at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding service on Saturday afternoon at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.
The congregation listened in silence as he gave a graceful performance of three pieces, accompanied by an orchestra, while Prince Harry and Meghan signed the register.
He performed Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria," Gabriel Fauré's "Après un rêve" and Maria Theresia von Paradis' "Sicilienne."

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/19/europe/c ... index.html

jbuck919
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by jbuck919 » Sun May 20, 2018 7:29 pm

I didn't hear the performance, but I can speak to the program. The Schubert is a song, not a cello piece, and is a horrid cliché frequently chosen without regard to any consideration other than "favorite hits" for such occasions. Even when it is sung, it is a very problematic choice. Almost the same can be said of the Fauré, and as for the third piece, it is not a sicilienne/siciliano. A true dance of that type does not start on an upbeat. (A good example o a real one is the slow movement of Mozart's Concerto K 488.) In addition, here from the Wikipedia article about that composer: "Her most famous work, the Sicilienne in E-flat major for piano quartet, is spurious, as it is derived from a Carl Maria von Weber violin sonata (Op. 10 No. 1) and is believed to have been concocted by its purported discoverer, Samuel Dushkin."

IMO, the problem is not so much with the selections, but with the practice of having some kind of solo as a bourgeois divertissement at a British royal wedding. If the Brits want the royals to be more like normal folk (as if wealthy but tasteless were normal), then they are getting what they want.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by John F » Sun May 20, 2018 9:39 pm

I would never object to music at a wedding (or a funeral), as long as it's classical. Might be the only classical music many ever hear, apart from snippets in TV commercials. The royals or their planners showed some taste; it might well have been Elton John, as at Princess Diana's funeral.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by Belle » Sun May 20, 2018 10:24 pm

Very pleased to hear the wonderful Thomas Tallis for the ceremony and, of course, those English hymns. Parry's "I Was Glad" is a stirring favourite but wasn't heard this time. The cellist largely didn't appeal, but it wasn't about me!! Did I or did I not hear "Elizabethan Serenade" at one point before the service? Some people regard that as 'classical music'. Elton John probably does!!! Even possibly JohnF!!!?? :mrgreen:

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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by John F » Sun May 20, 2018 11:04 pm

"Elizabethan Serenade" belongs to a distinctively English category, "light music." Wikipedia defines it as "a less 'serious' form of Western classical music, featuring through-composed, usually shorter orchestral pieces and suites designed to appeal to a wider audience than concerti, symphonies and operas."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_music

The title refers to the present Queen Elizabeth, who was crowned shortly after the music was written, so it was renamed in her honor. As such it's appropriate music for the wedding of one of her children. Charming piece. Much of the light music I've heard, I've liked.

Back in the 1950s when my family was living in England for a year, we relied on the BBC for home entertainment as we didn't have a TV set. At that time there were the BBC Home Service, the mainstream channel; the BBC Light Programme, which mainly broadcast light music; and the BBC Third Programme, the highbrow channel for talks, classical music, radio drama, and such. "The Goon Show" was aired first on the Home Service and rerun later in the week on the Light Programme. Those days are long gone, and if the BBC broadcasts any light music nowadays, I don't know what channel it's on.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by Belle » Mon May 21, 2018 2:02 am

I didn't know that about "Elizabethan Serenade", thinking that it was possibly an older piece which had been re-orchestrated or something. I remember it used to start the "Midday Movie" on TV in the 1960s when I was very young. Some of the older members of the congregation for the wedding would have recognized the piece; the younger ones probably not. But it would have been in their programs, I'm sure.

Interesting anecdotes about your living in the UK during the 1950s; what a distinguished radio broadcasting history that nation has!! My husband visited the UK from Fiji for months with his family (he had an uncle who was a doctor in Burnley) in 1948 and remembers seeing ruins from WW2 and they returned in 1955 for a six month period, having witnessed reconstruction progress. Did you go by ship then too? My husband has been to UK twice by ship and to Australia two times from Fiji on a Catalina Flying Boat - on both occasions he went to school for some months in Sydney. He's also travelled on a Super Constellation. He IS showing his age!!! :mrgreen:

My husband speaks fondly of radio during that period, too; in fact, you're probably the same age!! He had a birthday just last Wednesday, when he turned 75. I'm quite a few years younger than he is (cough). He's never lost his love of radio and has listened to the BBC World Service every single night in our 45 year relationship, without fail; in sickness and in health. He's an old style colonialist in his thinking too, which is kind of quaint, and he's never lost his affection for the UK, ships, trains and aircraft. He once saw himself in coloured newsreel at the "Trooping of the Colour" in 1955.

John, do you remember "My Word" and "My Music"? I once met John Amis!!

lennygoran
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by lennygoran » Mon May 21, 2018 5:16 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:29 pm
I didn't hear the performance, but I can speak to the program.
John thanks for the info-gotta admit we enjoyed that cellist part of the ceremony-the whole program was very different from what we expected. I wonder if others who saw can give an opinion on how the cellist performed-he sounded good to us. Regards, Len

John F
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by John F » Mon May 21, 2018 6:22 am

I'm 2 years older than your husband; that's as close as makes no difference at our age.

My father had a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Leeds, as a field researcher for the Survey of English Dialects which was headquartered there. He later changed his academic field from English literature to linguistics, moved to Brown University where eventually he became the department chairman, and wrote a basic textbook on dialectology. We all went with him, which meant we lived in Leeds - then a grimy industrial town, but it was included in tours of the Concertgebouw Orhestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Halle Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Philomusica of London (formerly the Boyd Neel Orchestra until Thurston Dart succeeded Neel as its director), and Carl Rosa Opera. (We did get down to London for the occasional weekend or school holiday.) My brother and I attended Leeds Grammar School, where they had a low opinion of American education - we showed them! No, I didn't meet Alan Bennett or the future Mrs. T. S. Eliot.

Before settling in Leeds for the school year we "did Europe." If you look up the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals for 1956, you'll see some of the many performances my mother got tickets for in that Mozart year. (No Bayreuth; that came 20 years later.) We got there on the Liberté, flagship of the French Line (and former German ocean liner Europa, taken by the Frogs as war reparation), and returned on the original Queen Elizabeth. We were lucky kids, or I was - my brother has never cared much for classical music.

I don't remember the names of the radio programs I listened to, except of course for The Goon Show, but I do remember John Amis. Listened a lot to the Third Programme and no doubt that was an important influence in getting me into radio when I went to college, WHRB, and after that WBAI in New York, listener-sponsored radio which then (though not now) was quite a bit like the Third Programme.

More than you wanted to know, but nowadays it's easier to get me started than to stop me. :)
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by Belle » Mon May 21, 2018 11:50 am

On the contrary, I very much enjoyed learning about your unique experiences; no doubt formative in the very best sense. And it definitely explains a lot about you. (Ah, the Liberté; the very ship from Billy Wilder's film "Sabrina'!!!) My husband went via the less salubrious P & O line where, it appears, he and his brother were invited to eat at the captain's table. Back then they wore suits to dinner!! We still have faded black and white pictures of such from the old 'Box Brownie'. John's father was a British civil servant (head of Post and Telegraph in Suva) with a passport of "the British Crown and Colonies". They had servants, handmade clothes and shoes, houses provided and his father never lifted a finger with regard to home maintenance! My husband's (decades ago late) uncle had an OBE which he earned as an engineer and civil servant in Nigeria!! The diaspora of this huge extended Dutch family (born in Ceylon) is a lesson in aspirational colonialism and education.

I envy those extraordinary early musical experiences you had; it intrigues me that your brother never cared much for classical music and this interests me greatly. Some children in families all take an interest in serious music and/or the arts where others do not and I'd love to see some psychological literature on that (as it might explain my own background and that of my children).

Your father was obviously an esteemed academic and I do remember you saying once before that his field was Linguistics. I do hope you've documented your experiences in a memoir for your extended family - as well as your later experiences in Europe for the US army. Life writing has become somewhat fashionable in Australia, probably because of the baby boomer generation having nearly reached its peak and in fairly healthy condition.

Your interest in English comedy and culture has been noted before elsewhere on this site!!

jbuck919
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by jbuck919 » Mon May 21, 2018 5:36 pm

Belle wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:24 pm
Very pleased to hear the wonderful Thomas Tallis for the ceremony and, of course, those English hymns. Parry's "I Was Glad" is a stirring favourite but wasn't heard this time. The cellist largely didn't appeal, but it wasn't about me!! Did I or did I not hear "Elizabethan Serenade" at one point before the service? Some people regard that as 'classical music'. Elton John probably does!!! Even possibly JohnF!!!?? :mrgreen:
"I was glad" was written for the coronation of George V and as strange as it may seem, this great Edwardian anthem is also overdone if for a very different reason. It should be saved for the very grandest occasions, such as a coronation or maybe the installation of an Archbishop of Canterbury. The wedding of the third in line is not such an occasion.

Picky, isn't he? Well, yes, I am, and it comes partly from playing so many weddings as organist for years before the church wedding fell out of fashion in the US. Actually, while there is a huge amount of unexceptionable and even great music appropriate for a funeral, there is nearly nothing proper to a wedding. For centuries even royal weddings (in terms of the ceremony itself) were more or less private, "low" services. (I'm not sure of this, but the custom of wedding music of any scope may in fact have started with the wedding of Victoria and Albert, which provoked much imitation as in the two traditional wedding marches.) Does that mean that there should be no music at a wedding because that is the distinguished tradition? Of course not. But it makes the choice of music that is both tasteful (let alone excellent) and suited to the theme much more difficult. Even the considerable body of excellent anthems with a theme of love are, like the ubiquitous and hackneyed reading from 1 Corinthians 13, not really to the point. Invariably these musical selections are about general Christian love for one's fellow human and address nothing proper to marriage as an institution.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

barney
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by barney » Mon May 21, 2018 6:21 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:29 pm

IMO, the problem is not so much with the selections, but with the practice of having some kind of solo as a bourgeois divertissement at a British royal wedding. If the Brits want the royals to be more like normal folk (as if wealthy but tasteless were normal), then they are getting what they want.
How wonderfully acerbic. I didn't watch a minute of the wedding, so didn't hear the music, but I can't say the failure to be a true Sicilienne would bother me. I do agree about the Schubert.

barney
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by barney » Mon May 21, 2018 6:34 pm

I was born in London because my parents were studying at the Royal Academy of Music. When I was nearly 4 I went back to New Zealand with my mother by ship, the Corinthic. For many years after that I cherished a rubber and wire Goofy the dog toy that I apparently won on an under 5-year-old race around a deck. As my mother told it, I was coming well last, when the two boys who were leading began fighting and the only girl, who was third, fell over and started crying, and I eventually ambled in first.

Belle
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by Belle » Mon May 21, 2018 6:43 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:36 pm
Belle wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:24 pm
Very pleased to hear the wonderful Thomas Tallis for the ceremony and, of course, those English hymns. Parry's "I Was Glad" is a stirring favourite but wasn't heard this time. The cellist largely didn't appeal, but it wasn't about me!! Did I or did I not hear "Elizabethan Serenade" at one point before the service? Some people regard that as 'classical music'. Elton John probably does!!! Even possibly JohnF!!!?? :mrgreen:
"I was glad" was written for the coronation of George V and as strange as it may seem, this great Edwardian anthem is also overdone if for a very different reason. It should be saved for the very grandest occasions, such as a coronation or maybe the installation of an Archbishop of Canterbury. The wedding of the third in line is not such an occasion.

Picky, isn't he? Well, yes, I am, and it comes partly from playing so many weddings as organist for years before the church wedding fell out of fashion in the US. Actually, while there is a huge amount of unexceptionable and even great music appropriate for a funeral, there is nearly nothing proper to a wedding. For centuries even royal weddings (in terms of the ceremony itself) were more or less private, "low" services. (I'm not sure of this, but the custom of wedding music of any scope may in fact have started with the wedding of Victoria and Albert, which provoked much imitation as in the two traditional wedding marches.) Does that mean that there should be no music at a wedding because that is the distinguished tradition? Of course not. But it makes the choice of music that is both tasteful (let alone excellent) and suited to the theme much more difficult. Even the considerable body of excellent anthems with a theme of love are, like the ubiquitous and hackneyed reading from 1 Corinthians 13, not really to the point. Invariably these musical selections are about general Christian love for one's fellow human and address nothing proper to marriage as an institution.
Thanks for that interesting explanation. I hadn't realized "I Was Glad" was for something exclusively significant in the Royal ceremonies. It is a splendid piece, though, isn't it?

Also, I worked at our ABC in Sydney with the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, who was at the Queen's coronation and probably the earlier wedding. His son was my boss and his name was Humphrey Fisher. Also given a job at the ABC at that time was the son of Lord Bradbourne (and a grandson of Earl Mountbatten), who went by the name of Joe (Michael) Knatchbull. Ergo, The Hon. Michael-John Ulick Knatchbull (born 1950). For some reason British aristocrats seemed to gravitate to the ABC in Australia.

Belle
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Re: Cellist at Windsor Harry Meghan Wedding

Post by Belle » Mon May 21, 2018 6:44 pm

barney wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:34 pm
I was born in London because my parents were studying at the Royal Academy of Music. When I was nearly 4 I went back to New Zealand with my mother by ship, the Corinthic. For many years after that I cherished a rubber and wire Goofy the dog toy that I apparently won on an under 5-year-old race around a deck. As my mother told it, I was coming well last, when the two boys who were leading began fighting and the only girl, who was third, fell over and started crying, and I eventually ambled in first.
London to Auckland (presumably) is an interesting destination. Family there? It seems that, one way or another, you carried on the family 'business'! :D

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