How Great, How Fall'n - orchestral version

...The audience felt more and more part of the music which surrounded it and the beautiful evocation of such a site was all the more effective...

Albert G. Storace, The Times of Malta

Torre Abbey. Photo by Christopher Best

I was inspired to write this work after visiting Torre Abbey, an English monastery dating from 1196, which is now little more than a shell.

The heavily weathered stone plaque at Torre Abbey. Photo by Christopher Best

On the fractured arch of the chancel I found an eighteenth century stone plaque, a poem by the Reverend Joseph Reeve that pays homage to the abbey ruins. Over time, this plaque has itself become a ruin, so badly weathered down one side that only parts of the verse remain legible. The elements had somehow bridged the six hundred year divide between the observer and the observed, leaving me acutely aware that our own endeavours will all too soon be eroded to dust.

How Great, How Fall'n was orchestrated and adapted from the original 2004 score as an offering to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The première took place at the Teatru Manuel, Valletta, Malta on 10th December 2010 under the baton of Brian Schembri.

The original solo voice parts are taken by the woodwind, the wordless choir given to the upper strings placed around the audience, the organ part is shared between piano and piano accordion. Brass and percussion parts remain largely unchanged.

Conductor Brian Schembri and stage musicians during the performance. Photo courtesy of Mariella Cassar

Strings and percussion players perform in the wings of the auditorium. Photo courtesy of Light Composing

How to purchase 

Study score available for FREE download (COMING SOON). Set of orchestral parts £30 via Paypal (COMING SOON)

c.11 mins
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Accordion, Piano, 6 Tubular Bells (hand-held), Tam-tam, Strings (8,8,6,4,2)
First performance 
First performed by Malta Symphony Orchestra, Teatru Manuel, Valletta, Malta, December 2011, conductor: Brian Schembri.
Commissioned by 
Funded by