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Erin's Lament

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Price £6.50

Erin's Lament was originally arranged for double bass and string ensemble, or piano, by Ian Pillow who has subsequently arranged it for viola. The following text gives an indication of how it came about and its performance history.

'2012 marks the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, a tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people after the ship struck an iceberg just four days into her maiden voyage. Among the dead were eight musicians, members of the ship band who famously played their way into the history books by continuing to perform even as the ship listed and began its terrifying descent into the waters.'

Of particular interest to bassists is that one survivor, Eugene Daly, from the small Irish town of Athlone, on the banks of the River Shannon, was the Great-Uncle of David Daly, the Principal Double Bass of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO). Eugene Daly, at the age of twenty-nine, decided to emigrate to New York, having become tired of the small town and his job in the woolen mills. He also played the uileann pipes in the local 'Clann Uiseach' pipe band and from the third-class deck of the Titanic, and as the Cork coastline faded into the distance, played the poignant Erin's Lament on his pipes as a fond farewell to his homeland.


David Daly decided to commemorate the event and asked Ian Pillow, a former violist with the BSO, to make an arrangement of Erin's Lament for solo double bass and atring sextet (3 violins, 2 cellos & double bass), which was the same string ensemble onboard the Titanic. This new arrangement was premiered by Daly with members of the BSO on 22 March 2012 at Central Hall, Southampton, followed by another performance at Cherbourg Theatre on 14 April - both ports from which the Titanic sailed.

Ian Pillow subsequently created an atmospheric and evocative version for double bass and piano and this new edition which is now available also for viola.


Ian Pillow has spent much of his professional life as an orchestral viola player, including performing with the Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony and Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras, but particularly with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Since his retirement from the BSO he has devoted more time to composition, including BSC commissions and works for his professional colleagues. He has also received commissions for choral and amateur orchestral groups, and for many years he wrote the popular 'Pillow Talk' column for Classical FM magazine and was a feature writer for The Independent.

Ian is conductor of the Dorset County Orchestra, the Sherborne Community Orchestra and the Purbeck Festival Strings. Whilst in the the BSO he was conductor of their brass ensemble and 'Rusty Musicians' project. He still give the BSO's pre-concert talks.

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Cat No. RM663
Supplier Code RM663
Price £6.50
ComposerIrish Traditional Melody
ArrangerIan Pillow
CategoryViola & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level5 - 6
ISMN 979-0-57045-663-5
EAN-13 9790570456635
Weight 176 grams
Published 24th July 2014
Availability 4 in stock
See also...
RM536  Erin's Lament (DOUBLE BASS & PIANO)