Brussels Philharmonic | Composer's note

Composer's note

Cenotaph Requiem (2018)

Simon Haw


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Dedicated to
Her Majesty The Queen

Cenotaph Requiem is a Universal Act of Remembrance; a poignant
musical reflection on service and sacrifice to the Nation, given by all
soldiers, sailors and airman in the face of adversity.

Cenotaph Requiem was written in the summer of 2018, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War

The work uses a number of texts from the Latin Mass - Introit, Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Pie Jesu, In Paradisum - to form an overarching Requiem structure, interspersed with five instrumental movements - Marne, Gallipoli, Jutland, Somme, Passchendaele - that provide a chronological narrative of the First World War.

The Latin and Instrumental movements derive their thematic material from 3 motives first presented in the Introit, thereby linking the poignant, descriptive instrumental elements that portray the most appalling and heartfelt conditions endured by soldiers, sailors and airmen during the war, with moments of quiet reflection, solitude and prayer, found within the Latin text. Cenotaph Requiem is intended as an epitaph to all who served in the First World War. But the enduring nature of warfare is constant, therefore in many ways, it should be regarded as a work for all time.

Simon Haw