I Was Glad has become an essential part of the British coronation ceremony since its first inclusion in 1902 at the crowning of Edward VI. It remains a firm favourite for choirs up and down the country. Like every great film score, Tchaikovsky’s music for Shakespeare’s supernatural play gives us a visceral feeling of atmosphere. It seems larger than life, suggesting expansive and colourful panoramas. The gently undulating sea in the opening is calm on the surface. Yet something eerie and foreboding lurks just beneath the surface. Olivier’s Henry V was one of Walton’s most celebrated film scores. Christopher Palmer’s imaginative reconstruction turned it into a dramatic scenario, reworking Walton’s score into a standalone performance piece, featuring some of Shakespeare’s most rousing speeches.

Works and composers

Parry I Was Glad
Tchaikovsky The Tempest Fantasy Overture
Walton Henry V: A Shakespeare Scenario

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