The worldwide arrival of the Covid 19 crisis raised many questions about life, loneliness in the face of death, renewal, self-study. It was at the heart of this crisis, in April, that I wrote this Requiem.
How to write his version of the Requiem, in 2020, after the masterpieces that the history of music has left us?
Has man been punished by God?
This is the theme of the legend of Babel, which is found in the book of Genesis, and which is present in the three major monotheistic religions.
I chose to open the Requiem by adapting this text, in my mother tongue, so that everyone can hear its meaning and message: that of unregulated ambition, lost speech, and the need to s listen to get along again.
The dispersion of the languages of the legend of the country of Shinar prompted me to write the rest of the Requiem in three languages.
After the request for light from Lux aeterna, and the text from Babel, I chose two episodes of the Christian liturgical ceremony: Lacrimosa and Dies Irae, day of tears and day of anger.
Two symbols: one of sorrow and rebirth, the other of fury and destruction.
My friend the Moroccan poet and philosopher Mohammed Ennaji offered me an original text in literary Arabic which would be the counterpart of the Latin Ingelisco. Qoboûr is a meditation on our graves, open, uncovered, which welcome kings as well as the destitute towards what the layman calls Death.
In the next movement, the man praising the glory of God, hopes to recover the lost word, and asks for joy. This is the theme of Gloria, in fifth position in this Requiem.
The Offertory is a musical moment that inspires internal reflection. We will have the answer, but the theme of Dies Irae still rumbles, distant but still present.
Here is the main message delivered by the Song of Songs (Shir Hashirim): only Love is stronger than Death. The man lost in the walnut garden is looking for the solution, here it is, before him: Love, whose kindling is kindling with fire.
The trumpet calls, here is already the call of Death (Tuba Mirum) to appear before the Judge, and gather at the foot of the throne.
Each in his own language, men will ask for rest, forgiveness and eternal light.
Requiem aeternam in Latin, Ya rabbou in Arabic, Kaddish in Hebrew mingle to form The Last Prayer.
Death has come, but it is only a passage, already, rebirth and a new life are underway.