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Epicedium for 9/11

An Epicedium is a funeral ode (from the Greek epikedeion with the root word kedos, meaning “care”). This piece was written in response to the tragic events in 2001 and as a memorial to those who fell.

It begins with and has two more occurrences of a “fireman toll”, represented as five rings on the lowest C. Long ago, when fire stations communicated with telegraphs, when a fireman fell, as a sign of honor and respect, a signal was sent out of five long dashes, a pause and a repeat of the dashes. This could be heard outside of the fire stations. This was translated into the ringing of a portable bell at memorial services usually five long soundings followed by a pause, called the “Last Alarm” or “Last Call.” In Epicedium, it is a memorial to all of the firefighters, police and civilians who fell.

Also in the piece are quotations from and variations on different parts of the Gregorian chant from the Mass for the Dead. No matter ones religious beliefs, many can identify with the texts for these parts of the chant: “In memoria” from the Gradual (“in memory” full text is “In memory everlasting shall be the just”), “Requiescant in pacem” from the Postcommunion (“May they rest in peace”) and “Amen”.

Code: OE911

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