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“A new musical Renaissance. His extraordinary talent and his profound spirituality are placed at the service of a process that is the invention of a new language which, in spite of its complexity and modernity, is capable of transmitting to us pure beauty and emotion.”
Requiem, ‘rest’ in Latin, is a song of contemplation of life, death and transcendence. For the structure of this “Requiem”, I did not wish to follow the texts that have been incorporated into the Catholic liturgy in the last centuries. The idea is that this prayer should be new, without linking it to any previously established canon. It is intended to be a luminous meditation on transcendence, in which a selection of open, plural texts and reflections responds to a non-confessional vision of the end of human existence.
I have divided this “Requiem” into three parts. Preceded by the intimate, transparent “Aeternam” – a stripping away in a face to face dialogue with God -, the first part speaks of life on earth with reference to what I consider to be the three essential pillars of mankind: goodness, love and prayer. Goodness, in a slow savouring of the text of “the Beatitudes”; love, with a proverb which questions the time/love relation; and prayer, with a version of the ancient song to the Black Virgin of Montserrat, where we hear the request “that your faithful be chosen from among the blessed”. In this final piece, monks (male voices), angels (female voices) and Mother of God (soloist) seem eager to outdo each other in mutual praise…
The second part of the “Requiem”, the central part, is a song to death, based on the famous “Lasciatemi morire” by Claudio Monteverdi. Here, the song of solitude by solo cello and cello quartet expresses the pain of death, the face to face encounter with the proof of one’s inevitable end, and the putrefaction of the body – made earth, made matter, made ash.
A third and final part, whose aim is to be luminous and consoling, is itself divided into three parts. “Souffle ta bougie” speaks softly into the listener’s ear: the friend, the friend who is always there, invites us to blow out the candle in order to find the true path. Darkness guides us towards the light. Blessed light “O Lux Beata” which will lead us to “Lux Perpetua”, where, recalling the Aeternam of the beginning, voices are multiplied in a cloud of textures and magma, where light and doubt meld.
The melodic motif that appears throughout the Requiem is formed by three continuous descending tones. Though the Resurrection is generally expressed by an ascending movement, I wished to do the opposite here. It is not we who ascend to Heaven, but God who, in his goodness as out Father, forgives us and lowers his powerful arm to raise us up.