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Titanic Requiem was written in commemoration of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 in which over 1500 lives were lost. The work is as much a homage to the ship itself as to its passengers and crew. It is also a warning for our time: “Ice-fields loom large in our dark night…”

My own connection to the Titanic, aside from having composed music for it, is an historical one - a boy from my school (Bishop's College School) was given a ticket to return home on the Titanic after the Easter holidays. His school mates never saw him again.

Titanic Requiem is for SATB choir, soprano soloist, narrator, string quartet, solo cello (the soul of the Titanic) piano and two double basses which are at once a musical pedal and the drone of the Titanic's mighty engines. It was originally commissioned for a very modest SATB choir- one person per part!. It has been revised or rather, added to, but has lost none of the accessibility of the original work.

The text is a tender five-verse poem by Wolfgang Kater framed by the traditional Latin introit Requiem aeternam, which also provides the text for the chants heard over the instrumental passages between the five verses. The instrumental accompaniment for these passages are improvised in sympathy with the hastily improvised rescue procedures carried out on that fateful night almost a century ago.

Synchronicity was clearly at work as Kater discovered that the instruments chosen by Mr. Patriquin for the Requiem - including the soprano soloist - turned out to be exactly those that performed on the Titanic's doomed maiden voyage. The very low notes emitted by the contra bassi and/or organ are at once the hum of the Titanic's mighty engines as she travels to her destiny, as well as the 'pedal' support for the opening and closing prayer and the inter-verse improvisations.

Much has been written about the brave contribution of the musicians during the sinking. Whether they actually played until the bitter end is not documented; it can not be. However, that none survived and that reports that their music was heard by many as they left the great listing vessel, is alone significant. The work ends with a tribute-- a fragment of Autumn, a hymn reportedly played in the final moments of the Titanic's demise.

The musical form of Titanic Requiem is that of the great ship itself. After an optional opening hymn, Eternal Father, which was sung on board the ship during the service on the Sunday before it went down, we hear the first hint that the Titanic herself was perhaps more than just steel plating, framework and engines. We move along the ship, first hearing the drone of the mighty engines, above which the solo cello, the personification of the ship's soul, foretells its fate. The opening of the traditional Requiem aeterna begins followed by Kater's contemporary verses. In between the verses, like the ship’s four great funnels, are heard the four continuing sections of the Requiem, in Latin, over instrumental improvisations. We approach the stern, the last portion of the ship to be submerged, the symmetry now echoed in a return of the   opening verse of the Requiem. This is followed by the hymn Autumn said to have been the last music played before the musicians themselves disappeared. The ship starts its final plunge, its terrible sadness echoed in the plaintive melody of the solo cello. Water closes over the great vessel, and all that is heard are the cries of gulls. Or is it something else? And then the terrible, cold and silent darkness..

To date, perhaps the most memorable performance of Requiem at Sea was that held in May 1999 in the historical 150 year old Basilica overlooking St. John's Harbour in Newfoundland, in the graveyard of which are buried many of the tragedy’s victims  It was performed, in period costume, by the magnificent Quintessential Vocal Ensemble under their director Susan Quinn with cello soloist Shimon Walt.

 pdf  Titanic Requiem 
 FULL SCORE: sa(a)tb(b)+Ssolo, str.qt.+solo vc, pno, cb or synth or kybd (21') AT23.44 $20.00
 Multiple FULL SCORE hard copies $16.00 each 
 Single FULL SCORE PDF $10.00; multiple (choir) PDFs $4.00 each
 PIANO/VOCAL SCORE: (16 pages) Choral parts + Ssolo & piano. AT23.16 $10.00 
 Multiple piano/vocal score hard copies $6.00 each. PDFs $3.00 
 PARTS: SET of individual parts for all instruments. AT23.P Hard copies $30.00; PDFs $20.00	http://www.donaldpatriquin.com/PDFfiles/SATB%20SACRED%20__%20Requiem%20Titanic%20FULL%20SCORE%2042of44%20SAMPLE%20.pdfshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1