Composer Debbie Wiseman OBE celebrates the Queen’s 95th birthday with The Music Of Kings & Queens released today. The new album, originally intended as the soundtrack for the Queen’s official 95th birthday parade, features narrations from Dame Helen Mirren and Damian Lewis OBE.
Features narrations from Dame Helen Mirren and Damian Lewis
The Music Of Kings & Queens tells the story of the making of the United Kingdom through twelve of our past monarchs, beginning with William the Conqueror and ending with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, featuring Debbie Wiseman’s music, words written by Simon Brooks-Ward (Director of The Royal Windsor Show), and narrations from Dame Helen Mirren and Damian Lewis.
Dame Helen Mirren noted, “We may not remember most of our prime ministers, politicians, military or even ground-breaking scientists but we will have a good grasp of our Kings and Queens who have shaped our Nation. This is their story and their legacy.”
Dame Helen Mirren is renowned for her performance in the 2006 film The Queen, for which she won an Oscar, and is the only actress to have portrayed both Queen Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II on screen. She said, “I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Debbie on the musical journey into royal history. It was a privilege to record the words with Damian and to be part of celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s 95th birthday. Debbie has done a marvellous job composing and recording the music.”
Debbie Wiseman has achieved great success as a composer for both big and small screen and has received two Ivor Novello nominations as well as an MBE for Services to the Music and Film Industry. She is Classic FM’s Composer-in Residence and was voted the most popular living British composer in Classic FM’s 2021 Hall of Fame. Her recent Classic FM series Music For Monarchy featured music from The Music Of Kings & Queens.
“I couldn’t be more delighted with the result”
Debbie Wiseman first met Damian Lewis playing Henry VIII on the set of the BBC Drama Wolf Hall, for which she wrote the soundtrack. She said, “Having composed music for Damian Lewis as Henry VIII in the BBC’s Wolf Hall, it was wonderful to have him accompany my music again, this time introducing twelve monarchs that have shaped our history, alongside Dame Helen Mirren. Both he and Helen were lovely and an absolute joy to work with. I played them my pieces to show them the musical thought behind each monarch, from William I to our present Queen, and they responded with the most wonderful, evocative and stunning narration. I couldn’t be more delighted with the result, and to have these two distinguished actors contribute to my album is the biggest thrill imaginable.”
Damian Lewis OBE added, “I was delighted to be asked to help Debbie and Helen narrate an image of the monarchs, the heroic, the noble and the fallible. To take a glimpse into the hearts and minds of those Kings and Queens, through Debbie’s emotive music, was illuminating – and very enjoyable.”
The Music Of Kings & Queens is out now and can be bought here.