In Belgium, no one will forget the 1987 Herald of Free Enterprise disaster. The ferry sank off our North Sea coast and the footage that was broadcasted live then on Belgian TV; at the time, it really touched the people who saw it. Swerts was at home alone at that time and was so emotional to see these images of victims that he wrote it off with this Elegia in silence, without using a piano. It was like writing in his personal diary. He left that small score in his cupboard drawer, not with any intention of releasing it publicly. A year later, however, he was commissioned to compose the St. Mark's Passion and in that oratorio he placed the Elegia as a non verbatim comment on the scene of the Last Supper. Only five years later, in 1993, he conducted the first performance of this Passion. Even during its rehearsals he refused to continue playing the Elegy, right down to the very last moment. Everyone was immediately moved by it and did not know its previous history. Even more striking was the fact that, spontaneously after the performance, people confessed to him that it should be this very Elegy they wanted to play at their own funeral service. It is remarkable, however, that one experiences this music in a perfect B flat major third key as music in remembrance of the dead. Since then the composer has decided to release the work separately. The YouTube video is a live-recording by I Fiamminghi, soloists were Rudolf Werthen, violin and France Springuel, cello.
This study score is in digital A4 format, 14pp, full set also available digitally.
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