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Requiem Requiem : (Latin word, from requies, meaning rest)

1. A prayer, a song for the dead in the Catholic liturgy. Requiem mass, so the soul of the dead may repose.

Music composed for this text.

A Requiem is thus a text written for a funeral mass. Our Requiem was taken from the Fourth Book of Ezra (part of the Apocrypha, which are texts who were removed from the Ancient Testament by the Catholic Church because they fall outside the canon). Ezra was a Jewish Priest who lived in the 5th century Before Christ.

During the 15th century, the Requiem became a musical work. The most ancient Requiem was composed by Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474); unfortunately, all proof of his composition was lost. And so Ockeghem’s Requiem, written in 1470, is considered to be the first known Requiem.

The Romantic Era (19th century) saw many musical adaptations of this text. Creative artists were greatly inspired by death, divine anger and doomsday. Here are some of the text's highlights:

Dies irae
Dies irae, dies illa,
Day of wrath and doom impending
Solvet saeclum in favilla
End of time, in ashes burning
Teste David cum Sybilla
With David and Sibyl witnessing

Tuba mirum
Mors stupebit et natura,
Striking death and nature seeing
cum resurget creatura
All creatures in awakening
Judicanti responsura
For the supreme proceeding

Ingemisco, tanquam reus
Guilty now I whine to thee
Culpa rubet vultus meus
My brow with shame is heavy
Supplicanti parce, Deus
Hear my cry, O Lord , forgive me

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine laudis offerimus
We offer prayers and sacrifice unto Thee, O Lord
Tu suscipe pro animabus illis, quarum hodie memoriam facimus
Accept them on behalf of the souls we remember on this day
Fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam. Quam olim Abrahae promisisti, et semini ejus
Grant them, O Lord, the passage from Death to Life As Thou didst promise to Abraham and his descendants in the olden days

Requiem composers include:
-Renaissance era : J. Ockeghem, R. de Lassus, Palestrina
-Baroque era : É. Moulinié, J. Gilles, A. Campra, Schütz
-Classical era : Mozart, Cherubini
-Romantic era : Berlioz, Liszt, Verdi, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Fauré, Brahms
-Contemporary era : Duruflé, Britten, Ligeti, M. Chion, J. Rutter

Of course this is not an exhaustive list of all the Requiems ever composed. While many of those composers chose to create Requiems for spiritual reasons, others not known for their religious convictions - like Fauré, Berlioz and Verdi - probably opted to do so as part of their artistic approach.

Like Pier Carlo Liva who contemplated this text as an artistic challenge; to compose an ambitious metal piece. Make no mistake: Liva’s Requiem is not a metal version of a known Requiem. Like all the composers that came before him, Pier Carlo Liva composed the music to his own Requiem: Liva's Requiem. And for those of you who would be tempted to believe that we are a Christian band, the answer is no.