Raincatcher Records

Discover a new song, old or new (but probably old)

The Ludwig Güttler Brass Ensemble - "The Earle of Oxford's March" (1988 ETERNA)

Cover Image for The Ludwig Güttler Brass Ensemble - "The Earle of Oxford's March" (1988 ETERNA)

c William Byrd, arr Elgar Howarth; from Newe Auserlesene Liebliche Branden, Intraden, Mascheraden (Englische Musik Des 17. Jahrhunderts), ETERNA – 7 25 127

It's coronation eve for my man Chuck. I used to hate him for what he did to Diana, but I love him for what he did to Liz Truss:

And all the pen stuff. Plus, I don't hate the sound of "King Charles"...

Anyway, if nothing else hopefully he can bring the British monarchy to a graceful close...if you've watched The Crown, let me know if you think he can. I don't have Netflix or the attention span...

In honor of the occasion, here's a particularly stately piece of English Renaissance music by composer William Byrd, c. mid-late 1500s. “The Earle of Oxford’s March” refers to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, a poet, playwright, jouster, and all-around Renaissance man to whom some have attributed the “true” authorship of Shakespeare’s plays (check out this installment of Sebastian Major’s fantastic Our Fake History podcast for more about that). Byrd was acquainted with both the Earl and their mutual patron, Queen Elizabeth I, and remained in high standing with the Queen despite becoming a Catholic around his 30s; in fact, Byrd and fellow Catholic composer Thomas Tallis were jointly granted a 21-year royal patent/monopoly for the printing of music in England (de Vere on the other hand alienated himself from the Queen and court and died in financial ruin, though he was eventually granted a royal annuity).

Apparently “The Earle of Oxford’s March” is a fixture of concert band music owing to its appearance in Gordon Jacob’s “William Byrd Suite”, and indeed I know it from playing that arrangement in high school band…

The version we have here (reproduced on a couple of compilation albums) was recorded in 1986 by the Ludwig Güttler Brass Ensemble in then East Germany. Güttler, I understand, is an acclaimed trumpeter and driver of a number of music festivals, and was made an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 for his work to restore the historic Frauenkirche church in Dresden after its destruction during World War II.

If you’re interested in more of Byrd’s compositions, don’t ask me, read through that BBC Music article linked in his name above. But for some more coronation jams...

Also Check Out:

By Claire van Kampen & Musicians of Shakespeare's Globe (from Wolf Hall, best historical drama ever):

"Fanfare No. 1 (Anne's Coronation)" - YouTube | Spotify

"En vray amour (The Coronation Feast)" - YouTube | Spotify

By Martin Phipps & Mediaeval Baebes:

"Coronation" (from Victoria, highly recommend) - YouTube | Spotify

More Posts