Nelson’s Dirge (’A Grand Dirge’) [organ]

Thomas Attwood (1783 - 1856)
Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
5 minutes
Classical music
Solo instrument (Organ [manuals])
Instrumental parts
Not available

This piece, entitled ’A Grand Dirge’, was performed after Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral London on January 9th 1806, during which Nelson’s coffin was taken from the catafalque under the dome of the cathedral (the dark January evening lit by a suspended lantern containing 130 lights hung from the dome).

The dirge was composed by the then cathedral organist, Thomas Attwood (sometime pupil of Mozart), before the coffin was lowered into the crypt.

This edition is taken from a hand-written manuscript by R. Sterndale-Bennett of Uppingham, dated June 1945, in a copy made for Bertram Sergeant.

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