Angry Lament

Pickard, John

About the work

Angry Lament was commissioned by Friends of CoMA (Contemporary Music for All). The music was prompted by the funeral of Margaret Thatcher in April 2013, an occasion of considerable pomp, attended by world leaders and monarchs. I wanted to write a modest memorial – not for her, but for the communities and individuals whose lives were ruined during the 1980s when she and her government destroyed large sections of British industry.

Having completed a draft on the evening of 6 May 2013, the following day I learned of the death that previous evening of the composer Steve Martland at the age of only 53. He and I had been students in the Netherlands around the same time in the early 1980s and Steve was a passionate anti-Thatcherite. Angry Lament is dedicated to his memory.

The piece is solemn in character and simple in design. The opening melody is played once and repeated in simple organum style. The melody is then restated a fifth higher and repeated with a more dissonant organum doubling. A central section introduces a counter-melody, which is also repeated in organum before the two melodies are combined.



Friends of CoMA commission 2013


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score & parts


Sample score



0m 00s




Flexible Ensemble with Solo Instrument


4 parts, pf, perc
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