Hymn for Diana
In memory of Princess Diana

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  • Duration 5 min
  • Year 1997
  • Instrumentation Eb soprano cornet, 9 cornets, flugelhorn, 3 alto horns, 2 baritones, 3 trombones, euphonium, 2 Eb tubas, 2 Bb tubas, percussion
  • Publisher The Salvation Army / Music Publications

Program Notes

I composed Hymn for Diana the week of September 7, 1997. I wanted to pay tribute to Princess Diana's life and all that she represented to the people of this world.

The Hymn opens with a stately chorale that is the main focus of the work. Following is a brief lighter section with almost a waltz quality which builds to a rather short climax. There is at this point, a building of tension culminating in descending diatonic scale patterns. I thought of the memorial service on Sept. 6, 1997 from Westminster Abbey. At the conclusion there was this cascade of descending bells, so haunting and dreadful. I will never forget that sound.

The main chorale now returns in full glory. There is a diminuendo, then a short building of tension once again. The lighter waltz section returns and the piece slowly fades into the distance.

Although the work has a mournful quality, there is a touch of optimism and grace throughout. Very much like Princess Diana herself, And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.

"Also included is Joseph Turrin’s poignant and moving Hymn for Diana, a tender, heart-wrenching elegy for the departed Princess of Wales. Though only six minutes in length, for me the work is the highlight of the disc."

— Merlin Patterson, Fanfare Magazine (September/October 2010)

Joseph Turrin ‘Hymn for Diana’: A Loving Tribute

— Published by Alex Burns on 5th October 2019