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Dedicated to my father, who died in 1999, the requiem (in nomine patris) started off as an optimistic work, a celebration of life rather than as a morbid fixation on loss. However, the reality of loss and the anger that comes with it soon began to take over the work. It was only after several months of constant revision that any sense of lyricism began to shine through. In the forefront of my mind were my friends Jenny Rowe, Patrick Beraud, Steve Johnson and Judi Pattinson, all bright lights no longer with us but whose spirits live on. They, too, are in the tapestry of this work. Anger at losing them is part of the work, as is deep unutterable sadness but the overriding sense (I hope) is of joy, typified by the uplifting Agnus Dei which concludes the work. The 'Requiem' uses parts of the Latin mass interspersed with poetry by Emily Bronte, Walt Whitman, William Drummond, Kahlil Gibran and myself. It is scored for soprano, tenor, choir and small chamber ensemble. The instrumental ensemble provides the rhythmic and harmonic structure of the work but the main focus is the vocal material, the emotional crux of which is the Whitman setting concluding the Recordare. The 'Requiem' combines plainsong motifs with dance elements, atonalism with minimalism and extended vocalising to present the requiem in a unique way - the ritual is still there but so is my personal comment on it. The requiem was written for the Jubilate Singers and their conductor John Pattinson and was premiered by them on 31st August 2001 in Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Written for the Jubilate Singers and their conductor John Pattinson
in loving memory of my father Alan Shepherd (1933-1999)
8 movements: i requiem aeternam, ii dies irae, iii recordare, iv confutatis maledictis, v lacrymosa, vi offertorium, viii sanctus, viii agnus dei
Latin mass interspersed with poetry by Emily Bronte, Walt Whitman, William Drummond, Kahil Gibran and the composer
31 Aug 2001: Performed by Jubilate Singers and Ensemble cond. John Pattinson Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand
Performed by Jubilate Singers and Ensemble conducted by John Pattinson