LONDON AND SAN FRANCISCO (April 24, 2014) – In anticipation of the centenary of Dublin’s Easter Rising, a major event in music history will occur with the official release of the premiere publication of In Memoriam, a 15-minute symphonic masterpiece by the great English composer, Sir Arnold Bax. In Memoriam is available from Richard Frazier Music. Sir Mark Elder has just announced the premiere performance and recording of this edition in November with the world famous Hallé Orchestra.

When Dublin’s Easter Rising of 1916 was put down and its leaders court-martialed and executed by the British army, Arnold Bax (1883-1953) was deeply distraught. By 1903 he had discovered the poetry of W. B. Yeats and fallen under the spell of all things Irish. In artistic terms, this infatuation resulted in his long-cherished dream of a Dublin residence in 1911, where he quickly became a contributor to the Irish cultural scene known as the Rathgar Circle, established around the poet, painter, and mystic George William Russell (AE).

As a literary persona, Bax had numerous poems and short stories published under his Irish pseudonym, Dermot O’Byrne. As a young composer who had already achieved international recognition, the soft melancholy moods of the Irish Literary Revival proved to be a major influence on his musical works of that period, which began to take on an undulating, mystical flow set to his own quite distinctive style of impressionistic orchestral techniques and textures.

One evening Bax’s Irish friend, Molly Colum, arrived at Bax’s home with Patrick Pearse, the intensely passionate barrister, writer, poet, educator, and advocate of Irish nationalism. After a lively conversation about Pearse’s native Connemara, which Bax knew well, they parted as instant comrades, but fate decreed that they would never meet again. Pearse’s execution for his leading role in the armed insurrection which began on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916 was a terrible shock to Arnold Bax and prompted the composer to write two pieces titled In Memoriam (the other being a piece for cor anglais, harp and string quartet).

A short score to the symphonic In Memoriam was completed four months after the Easter Rising, and for many years it was believed that Bax never got around to orchestrating the work. Given the fact that he was knighted in 1937 by King George VI and subsequently took over the prestigious position as Master of the King’s Music, a post formerly held by Sir Edward Elgar, it is easy to see why the piece was never performed in Bax’s lifetime, due to the decidedly anti-British nature of its origin. In November 1993 the fully orchestrated score was discovered in a music publisher’s basement; the work was given its premiere in manuscript by the BBC Philharmonic under Vernon Handley on June 17, 1998, eighty-two years after its composition. Handley subsequently recorded the work with that orchestra on the Chandos label, and that recording can be sampled on YouTube. There were only two other performances of In Memoriam while it was in manuscript.

In 2013, while convalescing from illness, Richard Frazier became enchanted with the Handley recording, and his search for a score led him to eminent Bax scholar, Graham Parlett, who informed him that the score and parts to the piece had never been published. Urged forward by their devotion to the music of Sir Arnold Bax, the two embarked on a project of creating an elegantly engraved performing edition published by Richard Frazier Music in cooperation with the Sir Arnold Bax Estate.

The score has been faithfully created from Bax’s original manuscript and is accompanied by two pages of editorial notes from Graham Parlett as well as historical background information, a bibliography, and full color illustrations.

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In Memoriam may be heard an YouTube at two locations:

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Publication Details: In Memoriam
Release date: April 24, 2014
Publisher: Richard Frazier Music

Purchase Prices: $ 345.00 for the orchestra parts + 1 conductor’s score
$ 5.50 for each extra part
$ 45.00 for the conductor’s score
$ 25.00 for the 8.5” x 11” study score

In Memoriam is not available as a rental.

Performance time: 15 minutes

Instrumentation: 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A, bass clarinet in Bb, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, bass drum, side drum, suspended cymbal, harp, and strings (4/4/3/2/2).

Score: spiral bound, available in two sizes: 10” x 14” conductor’s score and 8.5” x 11” study score.

Parts: printed on symphonic quality 9” x 12” inch paper. Extra parts may be purchased.

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In Memoriam is available from Richard Frazier Music:

For more information about Richard Frazier Music or to schedule an interview about this publication, please contact Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at Waldmania! 415.334.2787 or Visit the Richard Frazier Music website at

April 24, 2014 2:37 pm

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