Well, writing about the royal wedding – yes, the one with Will and Kate – seems a bit passé now, but I’m here to talk about the music, not the wedding itself.
The day of the royal wedding, I was in Seoul with a bunch of good friends. I didn’t watch the wedding live since we were having a much better time celebrating a business venture, toasting new friends, savouring fusion cuisine, sipping Dom Pérignon and listening to classical music.
But the next morning, I received loads of emails about “Kate’s beautiful dress”, and “they kissed twice!”, and “Oh! Cinderella’s evil stepsisters (Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice) were there”. So I decided to have a look and get in on the action.
Although I do agree that Kate’s dress was definitely classy with, mind you, lace from Calais, I am not the kind of person to spend hours in front of a screen ogling celebrities, unless they are musicians, of course. So I did not pay enough attention to notice the accompanying music. It was only when I got back to Hong Kong that it was brought to my attention. During a meeting, my friend Daniel asked me, “Did you notice that beautiful piece of music during the royal wedding?”
He was talking about Ubi Caritas et Amor by Paul Mealor.
So I returned home and watched most of the available royal wedding clips (which took a long time). I also checked the music list on the Royal Facebook page and pretty much listened to all of the pieces (but not the complete songs, I must admit), and I must salute Daniel because Ubi Caritas et Amor is definitely the piece worth mentioning.
Ubi Caritas is a hymn of the Latin Church, used as one of the antiphons for the washing of feet on Holy Thursday. The Gregorian melody was composed sometime between the 4th and 10th centuries.
The royal wedding version, Ubi Caritas et Amor, was rearranged for a choir by Paul Mealor, Reader in Composition at the University of Aberdeen. There is also a beautiful version by the French composer Maurice Duruflé.
Let’s listen and reflect on charity and love.
Paul Mealor: Ubi Caritas et Amor
Maurice Duruflé: Ubi Caritas et Amor