Music for the Departed – Orchestra Version (2006/2010)

for fiddle, violin and guitar with string orchestra or chamber orchestra.

Duration: 25 mins.

String Orchestra version jointly commissioned by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Irish Chamber Orchestra with the aid of bursary funding from the Arts Council of Ireland. Premiered at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland in November 2010, by Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Brona Cahill and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by David Brophy.
The revised version for the Irish Memory Orchestra was completed in 2013 and premiered in glór, Ennis on November 8th 2013.

Scores/Parts Requests to

Programme Note

‘Music for the Departed’ was originally commissioned in 2005 for the Masters of Tradition Festival in Bantry. Premiered in 2006 as a trio for Irish fiddle, violin and guitar, it has since been arranged for several different combinations including orchestral versions.The piece is a description in music of the grieving process, dedicated to the memories of my mother Joan Jennings and my aunt Catherine Flynn, both of whom died long before their time.

There are seven connected movements. Each one is based on a new tune I composed to echo the seven stages of the grieving process. Grief, Shock, Anger, Tears, Nostalgia, Determination and Celebration. Just like the grieving process, this piece involves a long difficult journey, yet it ends in joyous celebration of the lives of the deceased.

What the critics say…
  • ‘Composed by their founder Dave Flynn, their long piece ‘Music for the Departed’ was simply unforgettable. Haunting (and yes, mournful in places), vibrant, and elemental towards the end. I’ve never seen musicians work together so brilliantly together and with such intensity.’
    Fergus Finlay, The Irish Examiner
  • ‘It’s an impressive full-on sound…..At the end of the session the conductor sweeps his hand around to indicate the soloists, and the orchestra erupts into spontaneous applause. Contemporary. Classical. QED.’​