Page 1

Douglas J. Cuomo

The Fate of His Ashes A Requiem for Victims of Power ED 31297 for SATB Chorus and Organ

CHORAL MUSIC


Before starting to write The Fate of His Ashes: A Requiem for Victims of Power, I had a discussion with Patrick Quigley, the director of Seraphic Fire and the commissioner of the piece. He pointed out that, completely by chance, the premiere was scheduled on the exact one year anniversary of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, and that the rest of the program, also by chance, consisted of two major French requiems, by Fauré and Duruflé. With that daunting bit of information in mind, I began to look for a text and eventually came upon Sir Thomas Browne’s Hydriotaphia. Written in 1658 and subtitled Urn Burial, it’s a reflection on the discovery of a Roman urn burial site in Norfolk, England and the practice of disinterment. My text is derived from the Epistle to the Reader of Browne’s essay. To create this text, I eliminated great swaths of the original epistle; the words that remained became a tone poem, a meditation on the uses a body can be put to after death. Through this process, something that was hidden is revealed. Likewise, death is an elimination, but also can reveal. The urns and their remains that Browne describes were put on display in British museums, and he writes, “Who knows the fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried? Who hath the Oracle of his ashes, or whether they are to be scattered?” The containers holding our bodies might not, these days, end up on the shelves of a museum exhibit; yet now, with cameras and video recorders in every pocket, the body can still become a messenger and a metaphor, a dispatch to the world that has much to say about power, politics, race, humanity and inhumanity. Now the image of a life extinguished by the powerful can actually extend and amplify that life. The corporeal person has vanished, and what remains are (literally) the remains, standing as a parable of larger forces in the world. Subject to conditions outside our control, in death — even as in life — our bodies are not our own. Douglas J. Cuomo New York City, 2016 Notes for organist: Legato throughout except where specifically indicated. Slurs indicate phrasing and commas indicate articulation. 8 ft. only, except at mm 136-144 and where specifically indicated. The high single note lines should be transparent and ghost-like, as should the chords throughout, except those in mm 136-143, which can have more a complex and harmonically charged sonority.


Commissioned by Seraphic Fire, Patrick Dupré Quigley, Artistic Director in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Fate of His Ashes A Requiem for Victims of Power

Sir Thomas Browne (1658)

Douglas J. Cuomo

Adagio, spaciously

 4  Soprano  4 

p

etc.

    

 

Who knows the fate of his bones?

Alto

Tenor

Bass

e

 4 4 

 

    

4 4  4  4

pp

 

  

Bones

Adagio, spaciously

 



 

 

4 4 pp like an echo or memory

 

Organ

4  4 

  



 pp

6 3    

 

or - a - cle

of his



ash - es? p



ash - es? pp

 

   Ash

 



-

-

  

 Ash

-

-

-

   -

 

  

-

es

   es

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Schott Music Corporation, New York (ASCAP)

ED 31297

 

  

  


2 10

 poco espress.

 

     

   

Ash-es scat-tered poco espress.

ash-es scat-tered

     

   

Ash-es

      

ash-es

ash-es scat-tered

scat-tered

      

ash-es scat-tered

ash-es

ash-es scat-tered

 p poco espress.

 

   

 

scat-tered

 

      

scat-tered

ash-es

ash-es scat-tered

10





 

15

 

    

ash - es scat-tered

    

    

  

   scat-tered

 

   scat-tered

scat-tered

 

  

   scat-tered

scat-tered

ash - es scat-tered

 

scat-tered

ash - es scat-tered

 

  

   ash - es

  

ash - es

  

ash - es

 

 

 


3 21 19

 

  

at your hands

         ash - es scat-tered at your hands

 

       ash - es scat-tered at your hands p

 

      scat-tered at your hands



      

     

21

(pp)

     

 



            

23

 

   

                

      

 

 

more distant

 

 

         

 




4 27

  

mp

      

  

e-se-us may have wan-dered far

  

hit of faith

  

be-yond

pre-dic -

p

 



Oh p

   Oh p    

  



oh

hit of faith

  

oh

hit of faith

  

oh

hit of faith

be-yond

pre-dic -

  

  

be-yond

pre-dic -

  

Oh

  

   

  

be-yond

pre-dic -

27

31

p

   

poco cresc.

    

 

but see - ing

they a

tion

 -

rose

 3   as they

lay

    tion

   

 

  in

tion

tion

               

          

 (pp) with an improvisational feel


5 34

 mf    

p

 

si-lence

si - lence

mp

pp



 Hmm



We were un - will - ing p 3

 

 3   

      We were un - will - ing p 3

Hmm

mp

pp

   Hmm



We were un - will - ing p 3

Hmm

mp

pp

  





Hmm

 



   



We were un - will - ing

Hmm

     

 

 (pp)

3            3 3

3

38

   

 

they should die

   a - gain

3 3     3   4  and be bur-ied twice

   a

4  4 -

mong us

 3

  

 

they should die

       they should die

   a - gain

3

3      4  and be bur-ied twice 3 3

      43 

a - gain

and be bur-ied twice 3

   

 

they should die

  

  

a

      a - gain

and be bur-ied twice

 

-

mong us

bur-ied



4   4

  a

 

-

mong us

4  4

 a

-

mong us

3  4 4      4  3 3 3 4  4 4

bur-ied



3

      43 



4 4 

  

bur-ied

 


6 45 42 (p)

 



  Tru - est





  twice

   twice    twice

 

   

 

earth (p)

it - self

an

   

 

earth (p)

it - self

an



  

 

earth (p)

it - self

an



   

earth

it - self

an

     

  

  



  

a

-

mong

us

     

a

mong

us

mong

us

-

 a

-





 

45

    

 

    

 

(pp)

  

  

  

 



 

46

   

in - fant

   in - fant

    in - fant     

   

makes but a small

noise

   

makes but a small

noise

   

makes but a small

noise

   

in - fant

makes but a small

noise

                  

     

 

               

Ped.

 

                 

                 

16 .

         pp


7 51 Poco più mosso evenly  pp very       

hu-man pp very evenly

   

dai-ly

 

hu-man

  

hu-man

  

dai-ly

dai-ly

  

  

hu-man

dai-ly p non espress.

 

     

Hu - man dai - ly frag-ments p non espress.

 

     

Hu - man dai - ly frag-ments

51 Poco più mosso

 

     

        

(pp)

 

 

 

          

   



 

 

 

56

             hu-man

frag-ments

hu-man frag-ments

                 hu-man

frag-ments

hu-man frag-ments

 

   

Cof - fins by our

   

 

 

  

bed - side

    

 Cof - fins

  

by our bed - side

    minde us of our

    minde us of our

8 . Ped.

  pp


8 61

 

5 4

5 4

   graves

   

Cof - fins by our

  Cof - fins

 

bed - side

minde

by our bed - side

  

    

     graves

  



 

minde 3

   us

of our

of our

  

5 4

graves

      



5 4

graves

   us

  

5 4 5 4

5 4

  

 

 

 

 

66

      

 5  p       4  pre - serve

the

liv - ing,

make the dead

      

p

5  4       pre - serve

5 4 

the



liv - ing,

make the dead

 

4 4

to live

  

4 4

to live

    4 espress. 4 Cof - fins by our espress.

5  4

4  4 Cof - fins

66

                     

5 4

4 4 6 (pp) with an improvisational feel

5 4

4 4

  by our

   


9 69

 

   bed

- side

  

bed - side

minde

us

of

our

 

minde

us

of

our

   

graves

graves

 

   

  

72

   Keep

  Keep

  

men

out of

their urns



  

  

men

out of

their urns

 



  

 

Keep

men

out of

their

  

 

 Keep

men

out of

their

pp very evenly

   

 

hu-man

frag-ments

pp very evenly

 

   

hu-man

              

frag-ments

 





      

 3

 

     


10 75

  

urns

  urns

    hu - man   

frag - ments

frag - ments

hu - man

frag - ments





hu - man

   

frag - ments

   

     

frag - ments

   

hu - man

    

    

 

frag - ments

 

poco

77 pp

 

3 3     

3

    

pre-serve the liv - ing poco pp 3 3 3

                 Let noth-ing re-mark -a - ble

     hu-man

     hu-man

 

es - cape us

  

  

hu - man



      

frag - ments

hu - man

frag-ments

  hu-man

   frag-ments

frag-ments

77

  





 



 

Ped.

  pp

    

pre-serve the liv - ing

frag - ments

 

        


11 sim. throughout 3

pp

80

  

3

3

   pre-serve pp

3

  

  

pre-serve

   hu





frag - ments

pre-serve

the liv



frag - ments

-

ing

3

  

   

the liv



   

3

pre-serve



  

  

ing

-

3

  

3

   

the liv



- man

the liv - ing sim. throughout 3 3

  

 

3 3

   



-

ing



hu - man



frag - ments

mp

3

  

 

make

the

 

 

dead

to

 

 





  82

  

3

3

  

pre-serve

the liv

3

 

3

   3

   pre-serve

3

   

ing

3

3

    

ing

-

3

  

  

pre-serve

the liv

3

   the liv

3

  

    3

  

pre-serve mp

the liv

ing

    -

ing

3

     hu - man   





hu - man





frag - ments



live

your

 



 frag - ments

hu - man

  

 



 

 

   

Con - tem - plate pp

 

  




12 84 3

  

3

3

3

  

   pre-serve 3

the liv 3

  

 

    3

  

pre-serve

the liv

3

  

pre-serve 3

3

  

ing

    -

the liv 3

  

ing

    ing

3

  

pre-serve

the liv

   

ing

-

 

   fore

fa - thers

-



  







fore

-





fa - thers

 

 frag - ments

hu - man

frag - ments

hu - man

 





 



  86 3

  

3

3

pre-serve 3

 

3

  

  

the liv 3

   pre-serve

    3

   the liv

3

  

ing

ing

3

  

pre-serve 3

    -

the liv 3

   pre-serve

    ing

3

   the liv

    ing

-

pp



  



frag - ments





hu - man



 

hu - man

    fore

  -

 

 

fa - thers

  





 

 



frag - ments

mp


13 88 3

  

3

3

   pre-serve 3

the liv 3

  

 

3

   3

  

pre-serve

the liv

3

   

ing

-

plic - i - ty flies

the liv 3

  

ing





   

the liv

   

hu - man

ing

-



ing

3

  

pre-serve

        hu - man frag - ments     3       Sim

  

pre-serve 3

     -

3

  



frag - ments

 3 

-

plic - i - ty

 

a - way

sim

 

 



 

  90 3

  

3

3

   pre-serve 3

 

3

   the liv 3

   pre-serve

3

   the liv

3

   

-

plic - i - ty flies

  

pre-serve 3

     -

3

  

ing

ing

        hu - man frag - ments  3        sim

   pre-serve





hu - man

the liv



-

  





 

 

ing

-



    

frag - ments

way

ing

3

  

 

  a

the liv 3

   


14 92 3

  

3

3

3

   pre-serve 3

the liv 3

  

 

3

  

   

the liv

     hu - man

ing

-



the liv 3

  





the liv

flies

a

   

ing

-



frag - ments

  -

ing

3



hu - man

   

  

pre-serve

frag - ments

  

  

pre-serve 3

   



3

  

ing

3

  

pre-serve

way

 





 

    

  94 3

  

3

3

 3    

pre-serve the liv - ing 3 3

       

    

pre-serve the liv - ing

     hu-man

  

     

frag-ments

hu-man

frag-ments

      hu-man

frag-ments

 

 



 


15 97



     

  

  

     

 

 

 (pp) freely very distant

 

    

101

 

 

         

  

 

   

   



  

 

105

 pp very evenly   In

si-lence



or

time



or

time



  

in

si-lence

  

In

si-lence

  



or

time



or

time

pp very evenly

  In

  

si-lence

pp very evenly

  

 

si-lence

or

time



in

si-lence

or

time

 In

105

  


16 109

   in

 

   si-lence

  

In

si-lence

  

  in



  



or

time

in

si-lence

or

time



  



or

time

In

si-lence

or

time



 

  

si - lence

or

si-lence

 

or

time

in

 

 



 

time

113

      in

si-lence

    In

 

si-lence

  



or

time



or

time



    in

si-lence

    In

si-lence

   



or

time



or

time



 In

si-lence mp

or

time

in

          

   

Fetched

si-lence

or

 

from the past world

time

    3 3     sim - plic-i - ty flies a-way

117

   in

 

   si-lence

  

in

si-lence

In

   

  

si-lence



or

time



or

  or

  

in

si-lence

  

time

In

si-lence



 

time

in

  

in - iq - ui-ty



or

time



or

time



 

si-lence

     

or

time 3

 comes

    at

long


17 121

     

  

 

or time

in

  

 

or time

In

  

 

si-lence

or time

in

        

in

si-lence

     In

 

si-lence

    In

strides

  

 

si-lence

or time

  

 

si-lence

or time

  

  

si-lence

or time

            

up-on us

All

ag - es

all

beau-ties

be - hold

125

      in

si-lence

     In

 

si-lence

time



or

time



or 3



   

in

who af -ter long

  

si-lence

In

  

si-lence

in

  

si-lence

ob-scu-ri - ty now

lye

or time

 

  at their

mer - cies

129

      in

si-lence

     In

or

si-lence

or

or

time

      

si-lence

time

      

si-lence

   in

      

si-lence

   in

time

   in

time

     or

time

     or

       in si-lence  

    

or time

     

time

or time

   

   3    3    

 

those

or

si-lence

  



    in

or

time


18 136 ff con vib.

 

3

  43    

3

     

Re - mem-ber-ing ff con vib.

for - get - ting 3

  43   

 

ff con vib.   43   

   ash - es

3 3      

   

for - get - ting

ash - es

3

       43

  3      

Re - mem-ber-ing

       fff        

for - get - ting

Re - mem-ber-ing ff con vib.

 

ash - es

3

     

Re - mem-ber-ing

   

   

for - get - ting

ash - es

136

3 4

3 4

      

   

    

  

   

Ped.

144 141

 

   worth

   worth

 

   worth

  

  worth

non  vib.     pp 3     44      

hon-or

vir - tues!

We mer-ci-f ’lly pre - serve

 pp 3 non vib.    4       4       hon-or

vir - tues!

We mer-ci-f ’lly pre - serve

 pp 3 non vib.        4   4       hon-or

vir - tues!

We mer-ci-f ’lly pre - serve

 pp 3 non vib.      44            hon-or

vir - tues!

We mer-ci-f ’lly pre - serve

  

their bones

  

their bones

  

their bones

 

their bones

144

       

 

   

  44        44  

  

  


19 146

 p       Full

                   

of free - dom

I look up-on you

      

and must pro-fess my self

to Urn

and

p

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of free - dom

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to Urn

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151

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 pp

 

and


Schott Music Corporation 254 West 31st Street, 15th Floor New York, NY 10001 ny@schott-music.com

CHORAL MUSIC

Cuomo – The Fate of His Ashes: A Requiem for Victims of Power  
Cuomo – The Fate of His Ashes: A Requiem for Victims of Power  

for SATB chorus and organ

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