Happy Easter all!
To finish our short series on music relating to the celebration of Easter, we will listen to Pie Jesu from the Requiem by the great French composer Gabriel Faure. It is performed by the singers of the ensemble Voces8.
Faure’s Requiem was written as a prayerful tribute to his father. It is somewhat strange that he would have written a Requiem, an inherently religious work, given that he was not religious and described himself as a “sceptic.” Yet Faure’s Requiem is unique among religious compositions in that it avoids the somber, often heavy nature of those works and instead creates a light, serene atmosphere.
The Pie Jesu is the most well-known portion of the Reqiuem. Most requiems are based on an opening movement titled dies irae, which introduces the thematic material for the entire work and presents the text of the Latin mass. Pie Jesu is simply the last verse of the dies irae.