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Martin Cooke

Royal Navy

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I have to play for the funeral of a retired RN officer. He had had a good innings and the family are up for something celebratory. I have David Drinkell's arrangement of the Henry Wood British Sea Songs, I can do Hearts of Oak... does anyone have any other reasonably sensible ideas? I've played the Overture to HMS Pinafore before now, but would draw the line at Yellow Submarine!! What else might there be? Is there a decent chorale prelude on Melita, for a start?

Many thanks in anticipation of your assistance.

Martin.

 

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Not celebratory - but pehaps appropriate where something formal is required:- Thomas Attwood's Dirge composed for Nelson's funeral in St Paul's on 9th January 1806.

Robert

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Noel Rawsthorne wrote an alternative harmonisation to Melita which might be marginally useful (number 97 in his '200 Last Verses'). Also it might be worth mentioning that I spent many years during my career working closely with the Royal Navy and I used to play regularly (and still do occasionally) at a church with strong military and naval connections. At more than one funeral there, one for an Army officer and another for a Naval one, the family requested I play Nessun Dorma. I am not sure whether this has specific military connections but its translation, None Shall Sleep, is appropriate. (The actual libretto to the opera is decided twaddle and perhaps not suited to a church setting at all, but if we let libretti put us off most of us probably wouldn't listen to much opera at all).

 

CEP

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Thanks, Douglas. In the end, before the service, I played most of David Drinkell's splendid arrangement of Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs - (leaving out Jack's the Lad and the clarinet cadenza, which I thought might be a bit much for a funeral, but including Tom Bowling) - ending with Rule Britannia. At the end, as the coffin was borne from the chancel I played Heart of Oak.

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