Jeremiah Clarke - Trumpet Voluntary




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Published on Jul 24, 2009

Jeremiah Clarke (c. 1674 1 December 1707) was an English baroque composer.
Thought to have been born in London in 1674, Clarke was a pupil of John Blow at St Paul's Cathedral. He later became organist at the Chapel Royal. "A violent and hopeless passion for a very beautiful lady of a rank superior to his own" caused him to commit suicide by shooting himself. Before shooting himself, he also considered hanging himself and drowning himself. He was succeeded in his post by William Croft.

Clarke is now best remembered for a popular piece, the Prince of Denmark's March, commonly called the Trumpet Voluntary. From c. 1878 until the 1940s it was attributed to Henry Purcell. It was published as "Trumpet Voluntary by Henry Purcell" in William Sparkes's "Short Pieces for the Organ", Book VII, No. 1 (London, Ashdown and Parry). This version came to the attention of Sir Henry J. Wood, who made two orchestral transcriptions of it, both of which were recorded. This further cemented in the public's mind the erroneous notion that the original piece was by Purcell.

The famous Trumpet Tune in D, also misattributed to Purcell, is actually taken from the semi-opera The Island Princess, a joint musical production of Clarke and Daniel Purcell (Henry Purcell's younger brother), which is probably the reason for the confusion.
The Prince of Denmark's March, commonly, though erroneously, known as the Trumpet Voluntary, is a work by Jeremiah Clarke, composed around 1699. Clarke was the first organist of the then newly rebuilt St Paul's Cathedral.

For many years, the piece was incorrectly attributed to his elder, and more widely-known, contemporary, Henry Purcell, who was organist of Westminster Abbey. The misattribution emanated from an arrangement for organ, that was published in the 1870s by a Dr. William Spark, then town organist of Leeds. It was later adopted by Sir Henry Wood in his well-known arrangement for trumpet, string orchestra and organ.

The oldest source is a collection of keyboard pieces published in 1700. A contemporary version for wind instruments also survives. According to some sources, the march was originally written in honour of George, Prince of Denmark, the consort of the then Princess, later Queen Anne of Great Britain.

The march is very popular as wedding music (it was played during the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles in St Paul's Cathedral) and was often broadcast by the BBC during World War II, especially when broadcasting to occupied Denmark.

  • Category

  • Song

  • Artist

    • Maurice André/Jane Parker-Smith
  • Album

    • The Wedding Album
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • WMG (on behalf of EMI); SODRAC, Public Domain Compositions, EMI Music Publishing, UBEM, and 9 Music Rights Societies


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