Peeters lost his father when he was only seven. When his mother died in 1935 he was moved to compose one of his most intense and personal works; the Élégie
is dedicated In piam memoriam matris meae delectae
(In blessed memory of my beloved mother). Marked Lento doloroso, and con grande espressione, the lament unfolds above an incessant tonic pedal, which is repeated in a syncopated ostinato throughout the first fifty bars while the music grows to a passionate climax and then subsides again. The ethereal final page moves from D minor to major, and introduces the plainsong In Paradisum
: ‘May the angels lead you into Paradise …’. Here the ostinato is transformed into a gentle chime on the manuals, and the pedal note is sustained; it finally disappears at the very end while the hushed concluding chords float up to heaven.
from notes by David Gammie © 2011