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Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997: The BBC Recording of the Funeral Service

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 30, 1997
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997: The BBC Recording of the Funeral Service
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Editorial Reviews

Diana ~ Diana

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Introduction: Prelude - William Harris
  2. National Anthem - All Sing
  3. Funeral Sentences - Diana Princess Of Wales 1961-1997
  4. The Bidding - Diana Princess Of Wales 1961-1997
  5. Hymn: I Vow To Thee, My Country - All Sing
  6. Reading - Sarah McCorquodale
  7. Verdi: Requiem-Libera Me - The BBC Singers
  8. Reading - Jane Fellowes
  9. Hymn: The King Of Love My Shepherd Is - All Sing
  10. Reading - Tony Blair
  11. Candle In The Wind - Elton John
  12. The Tribute - Earl Spencer
  13. Hymn: Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace - All Sing
  14. Prayers - Diana Princess Of Wales 1961-1997
  15. Air From Country Derry - Diana Princess Of Wales 1961-1997
  16. The Lord's Prayer - Diana Princess Of Wales 1961-1997
  17. Hymn: Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer - All Sing
  18. The Commendation - Diana Princess Of Wales 1961-1997
  19. Alleluia - John Tavener


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000042I9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,329 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The end is chillingly beautiful!! Over the sounds of the Coldstream Guards pallbearers' feet, the choir sings John Taverner's "Alleluia" live in the most gripping version ever. Then, there is a pause which seems endless. Suddenly, the great bells of Westminster Abbey erupt with a heart-wrenching, echoing antiphony of distinctly English change-ringing which eventually fades away forever, just like the lost Princess.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many of us got up early to watch the funeral on TV, most have also seen it innumerable times in television programs and videos. For your money you get a live recording of the funeral services which means that there will be sounds that were not filtered out as a studio recording would be. An example of this is Elton John's performance of "Candle in the Wind", several times you can tell that his mouth got very close to the microphone.The jewel case booklet appears to be a miniature of the funeral program with additional explanatory notes inserted at the appropriate times
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By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The funeral service of one of the most well-known members of the Royal Family brought this nation together like no other event. How thoughtful it was of the BBC to record the ceremony, at which the music was brilliantly performed and the readings were so heartfelt. I strongly suspect that of all the music, the two tracks that will live for ever in everyone's minds will be Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" and John Tavener's "Song for Athene", both of which were fitting tributes and added something to the ceremony that nothing else could. Other highlights for me include the Purcell "Funeral Sentences", Tony Blair's reading of the lesson, "Though I speak with the tongues of men" and the courageous tribute by Earl Spencer, worthy of the applause it received. This is a disc of precious memories so touchingly and magnificently preserved. Even so, there are those who I am sure may find it too heartbreaking to purchase- I will admit to being one of them.
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Format: Audio CD
Prior to the recent death of Pope John Paul II, the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales stands out in recent history as one of the most dramatic, most watched, and most awe-inspiring in majesty and scope. Perhaps the tragedy that surrounded her death made the event even more poignant. Taking place at Westminster Abbey, the Funeral Service followed a fairly standard Anglican pattern of liturgy, but had certain additions and flairs that befit the style of life of the Princess.

The readings on this recording are preserved; this is not simply the music from the service, but includes the tribute readings done by Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes, and Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as the somewhat shocking statement read out by her brother, the Earl Spencer, who said much in emotional tenor that people felt but were afraid to say.

The music includes some hymns and service music pieces that are familiar and favourites of Diana. These include pieces by well-known composers such as Holst and Verdi, as well as a prelude by William Harris, the National Anthem (God Save the Queen), and the stunning 'Alleluia' at the end by John Tavener, modern composer from the Orthodox tradition, whose haunting strains cast a tone of reverence and mystery over the entire proceeding. Perhaps the more bizarre (but not entirely inappropriate) piece was a modification of the song, 'Candle in the Wind', performed by Elton John in honour of Diana.

In some ways, it feels as if the funeral were conducted only yesterday, and in other ways, that it is a lifetime ago. Not even ten years have passed since the funeral on Saturday, the 6th of September, 1997. The world is a different place, but Diana's image remains a strong one in the minds of all who knew her, and of most who knew of her. This album is a loving tribute, and a great remembrance.

I dedicate this review to Bob Zeidler, fellow Amazon reviewer. May he also rest in peace.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD originally to listen to the great hymns (especially the one, "I Vow to Thee,..." tune written by Holst, which caught my ear on the television broadcast) where it is rare to have recordings of congregations singing. However, there are so many other good reasons, including the fine readings (in particular the Corinthians passage surperbly interpreted by Tony Blair), the prayers and the Tavener "Allelulia".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Why there has never been a BBC-produced DVD of Diana, Princess of Wales' 1997 state funeral at Westminster Abbey remains a mystery. It still stands as one of the most watched events in television history. Did the families' wishes or the muddy circumstances surrounding Diana's untimely death influence that decision? We'll probably never know. But the Beeb did produce an excellent recording of the service that remains one of the most moving and memorable events in recent history. I feel lucky to have the CD and its accompanying text booklet; both are now very hard to find, especially in good condition.

The recording includes the somber tolling bell that marked the beginning of the service; the running engines and closing doors of the motor vehicle that transported the princess's body; the shuffling feet of the escorts that accompanied her cortege in and out of the cathedral; the remarkable applause that followed The Earl Spencer's courageous eulogy (I clapped too); and the magnificent Westminster peal that rang out as the casket was taken away for burial at Althorpe.

IMO the most memorable moments of this recorded service are:

-- Verdi's Libera me, Domine, de morte eternal, movingly sung by soprano Lynne Dawson and the BBC Singers;

-- PM Tony Blair's sensitive reading of Paul I Corinthians 13, the apostle's letter on love;

-- Elton John performing Candle In The Wind (Goodbye English Rose), a revision of his own song about Marilyn Monroe. The actress's worldwide fame, troubled personal life and tragic early death were mirrored by Diana;

-- the aforementioned tribute to the princess delivered by her brother.
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