These three pieces were written
during the pandemic. 2020 - 2021.
short requiem Chris Reynolds, May 2021
For those we have lost to the pandemic, three pieces in their memory.

As the numbers becoming ill, and the numbers dying rose at frightening rates, I wanted to mark the passing of those who were dying alone in oxygen tents, and cremated quickly with a minimum ceremony and a minimum of mourners.
First Movement: 'Requiem Aeternam' for more detail, follow this link

I started quite early in the lockdowns with the 'Requiem' I wanted something heavy and slow, with dense voicing. The piece repeats with the introduction of a second set of voices riffing against the initial chorale.
Second Movement: 'Short Order' for more detail, follow this link

'Short order' was the last piece to come together. I wanted a complex layer of images in the lyrics, which brought in elements of the battlefields of WW1, and the military instruction ' short order'seemed to encapsulate the hurry and lack of dignity and compassion that these events demanded.
I wanted to use the images of the requiem mass, and I chose the green chasuble ( for ordinary days,) to mark the commonplaceness of these tens of thousands of funerals. I was writing this in the spring of 2021, which was particularly abundant in wildflowers ... not poppies this time but the white, yellow and golds of mid spring.

These flowers became for me the tributes for those who had died from this pernicious virus.
Third Movement: 'The Souls of the righteous' for more detail, follow this link


I'd been working on the cannon/rondo which became 'The Souls of the righteous' for some time, and was stuck for a libretto, until I remembered this passage in 'The Wisdom of Solomon' from the books of the Apocrypha, which I'd first heard at my own mother's funeral fifty years ago, but which had always stayed with me.