(In memory of all great persons)

When death overtakes thee how wouldst thou be found?
Enough if I can hold my hands to the heavens and say,
“I’ve not neglected the talents thou gavest me as to understand thy Rule: I’ve laid nothing to thy charge: I’ve not murmured or repined”
For the life thou gavest me, I thank thee.
– Adapted by Albert Tay from Epictetus (c.a. 55-c.a. 135)

With the passing of Lee Kuan Yew on the 23 March 2015, we lost one of Singapore’s greatest. “Elegy” was sparked by this event and completed on the same day.

Adapted from the text of stoic philosopher Epictetus (c.a. 55- c.a.135), the music alludes to references ranging from Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, Sir Cecil Spring Rice’s ‘I Vow to Thee, My Country’ to Gregorian chant (Dies Irae). Numerology also influenced the composition of this work.

Learnt and recorded by the Schola Cantorum Singapore Chamber Choir within 2 hours at Goodman Arts Centre on 27 March 2015 (Fri), the work is dedicated to all great persons.

Albert Tay
29 March 2015