Alto Saxophone part from William & Kate - Romancin’ the Anthem!

3 minutes
Classical music

I’m not really a royalist, but neither do I have any especially strong views for or against.

What I do know, is that I’ve never been fond of our National Anthem! At the World Cup last year, some of the South American anthems in particular, are really stirring, rather like the French or American ones - even the German one has got more ’get-up-and-go’ to it. ’God Save the Queen’ I find rather anaemic, by comparison.

I wasn’t especially interested in the recent royal wedding between William and Kate, but, probably like most people, watched some of it on TV and at least felt that, while obviously a ’royal’ affair, the glamour and lavish nature of some of those in the past wasn’t so apparent, a sensible thing when the country is economically down on its knees, and we’re footing the bill for a lot of it!

William & Kate is not intended as any kind of tribute, or dedication to the latest royal couple. It is merely an essentially simple reflection, or ’Romance’, on the main harmony and chords of the National Anthem, which, hopefully can still be heard, but now suitably embellished as to give it a bit more character. Because the original metre is, of course, 3/4, and I have set mine in four beats, I have been able to take some liberty with the length of each chord, while keeping to the structure.

I conceived it originally for flute and piano, but have also added versions for clarinet, oboe and alto / tenor saxophone, and bassoon - all of which have involved some octave transpositions and minor melodic tweaks, to accommodate the respective ranges.

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