We performed the Fauré Requiem this evening. It really wasn’t written for or about Pompei, but I just went to the Pompei Exhibit yesterday, and the experience definitely informed the way I sang the “Dieas irae” section.

Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna Free me, lord, from death eternal
in die illa tremenda on that day of dread
quando coeli movendi sunt et terra when the heavens will be shaken and the earth
dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem while you come to judge the world with fire.
Tremens factus sum ego et timeo I am made to shake, and am afraid
dum discussio venerit atque ventura ira awaiting the trial and the coming anger.
Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae That day, day of anger, of calamity and misery,
dies illa, dies magna et amara valde. that day, the day of great and exceeding bitterness,

Because you know what? The death of Pompei was certainly a day of calamity and misery, far more so than any day I have ever experienced.


Apart from that new insight, it was a pleasant performance. I was in the front row, behind the trombones, and the music blossomed around me.

This is some of the sweetest music ever. Perhaps the people who died that day in Pompei are enjoying eternal life now, and my thoughts of them drew their attention to the music and they were pleased to be remembered in the midst of those gorgeous tunes.