While I've written all sorts of violacentric music for different occasions, and while there are memorial pieces that feature the viola (Hindemith's Trauermusik, Partos' Yizkor, and many other examples), it occurred to me that there wasn't a funeral/memorial piece dedicated specifically to the dead *violist*. Hey, we're all going to get there some day. (And no, you don't move him back a stand, tsk.)
So I wrote The South Hadley Mass; A Short Requiem for the Dead Violist. For four violas (what violist doesn't know four other violists?!), it contains four of the most universal elements of the traditional mass: Introit (Requiem Aeternum), Dies Irae, Libera Me, and Lux Aeterna. At only twelve-plus minutes, this is perhaps the quickest overview of this form yet written, and if that's still too long, the Libera Me (third section) can be excerpted from the mass and performed alone. (I plan on making a version of the Libera Me for viola and piano/organ.) Why the name, South Hadley Mass? I knew it had to be when six years ago, we moved to... South Hadley, Mass.
I hope you enjoy the music, which I hope you may never need, but if you do, see details under the video.
Thanks, Laurie! The only thing I actually quoted was Dies Irae ('The Wrath of Cremonus'), but parts are in a sort of Shostakovich-like style and other parts are probably reminiscent of other composers, too. I had to include a lot of styles the deceased violist played in!
Thank you for sharing that moving and evocative piece.
How lovely - thank you.
How lovely - thank you.
It is fabulous. The picture as well is it available for purchase?
Thanks everyone! The picture is from an album of some of my other music for viola ensemble called "Hail, Cremonus!" performed by the Penn State Viola Ensemble. The sheet music for the Mass should be available in the next few days.
where can we get the music?!
Be sure to share the link when the music is available, Scott! :)
I play with a string quartet....the unusual thing is we can all switch to 4 violas....would like to have a copy.....
Voila'! The sheet music is now available for download: https://bit.ly/2Olc3pj
Thanks for listening!
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Violinist.com Summer Music Programs Directory
Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine
August 1, 2018 at 09:36 PM · This is really beautiful, Scott, I love the way you have quoted from so much well, music for the dead, with the dies irae and I think a lot of clever stuff in there that I recognize but can't quite identify!