Sword and the Crown, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Edward Gregson

Edward Gregson

General Info

Year: 1988 / 1991 / 1993
Duration: c. 14:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Studio Music
Cost: Score and Parts - £124.95   |   Score Only - £24.95

Movements (played without pause)

1. Henry the V, Too Famous to Live Long! - 5:30
2. And She will Sing the Song that Pleaseth You - 5:40
3. Sound All the Lofty Instruments of War! - 4:45


Full Score
C Piccolo (doubling Alto Flute)
Flute I-II (doubling Recorders)
Oboe I-II (doubling Rauschpfeifen)
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV (I and II doubling B-flat Piccolo Trumpet)
B-flat Trumpet I-II (offstage)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Timpani (2 players)
Percussion I-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Tree
  • China Cymbals (small)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Cymbal (antique)
  • Cymbal (bowed)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Handbells on frame
  • Mark Tree
  • Medieval Drum (small)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam (2)
  • Tenor Drum (2)
  • Tom-Tom (2 sets)
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone

Players Singing


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1988, Gregson was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to write the music for The Plantagenets trilogy, plays that take us from the death of Henry V to the death of Richard III. All of these plays are concerned with the struggle for power (the crown) through the use of force (the sword), and they portray one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the British monarchy. When the Royal Air Force Music Services commissioned Gregson to write a work especially for their British tour in 1991, he immediately thought of turning to this music and transforming some of it into a three-movement suite for symphonic band.

The first movement opens with a brief fanfare, but this only acts as a preface to a Requiem aeternam (the death of Henry V) before changing mood to the English army on the march to France; this subsides into a French victory march, but the English army music returns. Finally, a brief reminder of the Requiem music leads to the triumphal music for Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of Edward IV and Richard III (the opening fanfare transformed). The second movement takes music from the Welsh Court in Henry IV, which is tranquil in mood; distant fanfares foreshadowing battles to come are heard, but the folk tune is heard three times in different variations, and the movement ends as it began, with alto flute and gentle percussion. The final movement starts with two sets of antiphonally placed timpani, drums, and tam-tam, portraying the ‘war machine’ and savagery of battle. Trumpet fanfares and horn calls herald an heroic battle theme which, by the end of the movement, transforms itself into a triumphant hymn for Henry IV’s defeat of the rebellious forces.

- Program Note by Ohlone Wind Orchestra


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Gregson, E. (1993). The Sword and the Crown [score]. Studio Music: London.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 715-724.
  • Perusal Score