Master of The King’s Music, Judith Weir CBE composes new work for the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

A new choral work, Like as the hart, has been composed by Master of The King’s Music, Judith Weir CBE for inclusion in the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II which will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 1100hrs BST.

The Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace will sing the unaccompanied choral piece, conducted by the Organist and Master of the Choristers James O’Donnell. Like as the hart is a three-minute setting of Psalm 42, v. 1-7, from the Book of Common Prayer.

Master of The King’s Music, Judith Weir CBE comments:
“For this funeral service, Westminster Abbey requested that I set to music the first seven verses of Psalm 42, “Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks: so longeth my soul after thee, O God”.
The words and music speak at first of the soul’s great sadness and thirst for God’s reassurance; but as the psalm progresses, the mood becomes calmer and more resolved, culminating in consolation, with the words “Put thy trust in God”.
The Queen’s strong faith in, and support of, Anglican worship was an inspiration for me when setting this psalm to music.”

Like as the hart is published by Chester Music Limited, part of Wise Music Group.

Judith Weir reflects on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
“I had the pleasure of talking to The Queen on quite a few occasions about music. She was grateful for her own early musical education and frequently mentioned the advantages of starting music at an early age. She often referred to the focus that musicians need – a quality which I know The Queen herself possessed in abundance.
The Queen was Patron of over a hundred artistic organisations, and always showed respect for, and curiosity about, the activities of the UK’s musicians, composers and singers.
I had the honour of writing new music for numerous national/royal occasions (most recently, for the Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at St Paul’s Cathedral) and these were always graciously, and often personally, acknowledged by The Queen.”