"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Music Tuesday: Introit from Mozart's Requiem Mass

For yesterday's Memorial Day, I want to offer the opening movement of Mazart's Requiem Mass in D Minor.  When I was growing up, Memorial Day was not just the first day of summer activities, but a day to reflect and pay respects to those soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  The emphasis was on homage to the dead, not an easy day out of school or off from work, and I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like the emphasis has shifted to the latter.

There are many fine Requiems.  A Requiem is a mass for the dead set to music. and it follows the mass structure.  Of the Requiem's I've listened to, I have to say that despite it not being completed, the Mozart Requiem is the one I favor.  It just sounds most like what a Requiem should sound like. 

In honor of the over 1.25 million Americans (according to my tally from this listing of American casualties) that have perished in service to our land since the Revolutionary War, I offer the Introit to Mozart's Requiem.  The Introit is the opening part of the mass in the traditional Latin Mass, and for masses for the dead, it takes these verses:

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

In English that translates to the following:
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
A hymn becomes you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall a vow be repaid in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer;
to you shall all flesh come.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Eternal rest valiant men and women.


  1. It is a beautiful work. I was lucky to play bassoon in it a few years ago. It is also really complex, especially for Mozart.

    1. I didn't realize you played in a symphony orchestra. That's impressive.

    2. This orchestra was small, but I have played in larger ones. NEVER any major orchestras!