funerary violin recordings

Funerary Violin Music CDs by Rohan Kriwaczek.

Illustration by Tim Sagar


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"The Art of Funerary Violin" presents a selection of works from the great masters of Funerary Violin dating all the way back to George Babcotte's monumental Dirge, performed in 1586 for the funeral of Sir Philip Sydney. It includes works by Addleston, Meunier, Gratchenfleiss, Sudbury, Duibuisson and Eaton, covering the entire period when the Art was at the very centre of funerary ritual. The music is performed by members of the Guild of Funerary Violinists, under the direction of Rohan Kriwaczek, and is occassionally accompanied by Tobias James on bass drum.
  1. from Funerarius for Micheal Wise Esquire - Orlando Addleston (1681)
  2. The Sombre Coquetry of Death – Hieronymous Gratchenfleiss (1810?)
  3. The Dizzy Flight of Death - Hieronymous Gratchenfleiss (1810?)
  4. from - Pompes Funèbres no. 2 – Pompe II - Michel Meunier (1693)
  5. from Funerary Suite no.4 – Flight - Charles Sudbury (1832)
  6. The Noble March of Death - Hieronymous Gratchenfleiss (1810?)
  7. from Funerary Suite no.4 – Eulogy - Charles Sudbury (1832)
  8. from The Sultry Dance of Death - Hieronymous Gratchenfleiss (1810?)
  9. from Sept Regards sur l’Esprit de la Mort - Marche Funèbre - Pierre Dubuisson (1826)
  10. The Erroneous Dirge of George Babcotte - George Babcotte / Thomas Dinsley (1586/1697)
  11. -13. Great Funerary Sonata - Knocking at the Door - Introduction to the Angels - The Purging of Mortal Sin - Stanley Eaton (1912)



"Rohan Kriwaczek - Funerary Violinist" offers a tasteful selection of solo violin music that might be deemed appropriate for funerary performance. Ranging from simple folk tunes, to classical works and, of course, works from the Funerary Violin repertoire, this CD clearly demonstrates the musical and spiritual advantages offered by the choice of a Funerary Violinist.

1. Funeral March no.1
2. Neo-Baroque improvisation
3. Irish Lament (for Limerick)
4. Funeral March no.2
5. Jewish Lament
6. Scottish Lament
7. Irish Jig (Paddy Fahy’s Jig)
8. Roslin Castle (Scottish)
9. Sorrowful Song (Slow Waltz)
10. Neo-Baroque improvisation
11. Light Waltz
12. Funeral March no.3


Babcotte, Sudbury and Eaton: The English school of Funerary Violin - from the collection of Gunter II, Prince of Schwatzburg-Rudolstadt-Sonderhausen.




1. The Erroneous Dirge of George Babcotte 1587/1697
Performed by Prince Gunter II (?) c.1912

2. Funerary Suite no.4 – Charles Sudbury 1832
Performed by Wilhelm Kleinbach (?) c.1913

2. March - For the subtle approach of Death: to ease the fear and calm the Soul’s gentle mortification
3. Introduction and March - To show the Soul’s newfound delight, and expel the sadness of those who mourn.
4. Dream - As the Soul looks down upon all that is laid aside, a brief moment of grief before the bargaining begins.
5. Panic - For the banishment of all spirits whose heart is not of purest white, and to drive away the evil- minded ghosts that dwell where death is to be found.
6. Flight - As if to dispel all doubts, the cleansed Spirit marks a final path between God and Man, before its ultimate ascension.
7. Eulogy - A final farewell as the Spirit rises unto God; not without sadness we put our faith, and the spirit of our dead, in God’s own hands. (hear a sample from a modern recording).
8. March - Now that all is done and as it should be, we may weep without reserve.
9. Introduction to the Angels – Stanley Eaton 1910
from the Funerary Sonata
Performed by Stanley Eaton Dec.1913
10. The Erroneous Dirge of George Babcotte 1587/1697
Performed by Maria Rotaru 1975. (hear an extract from a modern recording of George Babcotte's Dirge)



The Funerary Notebooks of Herr Gratchenfleiss - as recorded on a number of recently re-catalogued cylinders and disks by Wilhelm Kleinbach, 1906-1911.


1. The Noble March of Death
2. The Dizzy Flight of Death
3. The Statuesque Discipline of Death
4. The Stately Tragedy of Death
5. The Formal Stance of Death
6. The Fleeting Panic of Death
7. The Masque of Death
8. The Softly Spoken Wanderings of Death
9. The Sultry Dance of Death
10. The Long Uncertainty of Death
11. The Sombre Coquetry of Death
12. The Worthy Triumph of Death
13. The Undisguised Peace of Death


Pierre Dubuisson - Sept Regards sur l’Esprit de la Mort - Wax Cylinder recordings by Jacques Dubuisson, 1913, from the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.




1. Marche Funèbre - Lent, posé et majestueux
2. Vol - Magnanime et degage
3. Marche Funèbre - Sombre, pourtant ouvert sur l’avenir
4. Éloge - Lyrique et couronné de tristesse
5. Panique - Panique momentanée - enraciné bien q'essayant de se sauver
6. Rêve - Enfin libre, pas sans tristesse, l'esprit s’envole
7. Marche Funèbre - Triomphe de la tragédie


17th and 18th century works of Funerary Violin - as copied by Fr. John Brockley in 1726 and preserved in the library of Chichester Cathedral - performed by Herbert Stanley Littlejohn 1956.


Orlando Addleston
from Funerarius for Micheal Wise Esquire (1681)
I. Grave
2. III. Allegretto

Michel Meunier
from Pompes Funèbres no. 2 (1693)
3. Pompe I.
4. Pompe II.
5. Pompe III.

Kaspar Ignaz Faustmann
from Todesmusik (1722)
6. Intrada
7. Trauermarsch II.



Will all patrons please remain seated
Whilst I belittle myself to amuse you
For I've tried pretty metaphors and sensitive rhymes
But the effort just seemed to confuse you
Rev. Rohan K.

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