The present Te Deum, originally for 8 part choir, soprano soloist and huge orchestral forces is a colourful work with ever changing moods. There are sections heralded by brilliant fanfares, sections of almost melancholic reflection, and sections which evoke the singing of heavenly angels. This arrangement for choir and organ was made by Simon Preston (b1938) – a former organist of Christchurch Cathedral Oxford and Westminster Abbey.

The organ work, Crown Imperial, was originally an orchestral march composed by Walton for performance at the coronation of King Edward VIII, scheduled for 12 May 1937. Edward abdicated in 1936, however, and the coronation was held on the scheduled day, but with Edward's brother, George VI, being crowned instead. The work was substantially revised for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. Walton’s popularity amongst the Royal Family was such that another coronation march, called Orb and Sceptre, was also commissioned for this occasion, as was the Te Deum. Walton derived the march's title from the line In beawtie berying the crone imperiall from William Dunbar's poem In Honour of the Citie of London. Although there was contemporary criticism of the march as being unrepresentative of the composer and a weak pastiche of Elgar’s five Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Crown Imperial is now one of the most popular of Walton's orchestral compositions. It was performed again as a recessional piece at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011. The march follows an ABABC form. The A section is an exciting colourful march in C major constructed over Waltonesque long pedal points, and the B section is a satisfying, extended, Elgarian-type melody full of nobility and dignity. The piece concludes with a small heroic coda. This work has often been referred to as Pomp and Circumstance March no 6. The arrangement for organ was made by Herbert Murrill, who was for many years Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music, Head of Music at the BBC, and, between 1942 and 1946, Director of Music at Bletchley Park.

Programme Notes by Peter Parfitt