Fauré Requiem

The choir sang the Fauré Requiem at tonight’s service. We have an annual requiem on All Souls’ Day at which it is our custom to remember by name those who have died who are being remembered by the congregation. It is always the most moving occasion. Last night I knew that it was drawing together those who were mourning several people who had died in the last couple of days with those who were remembering folk who had long since passed on but who live in eager memory.

There is nothing, nothing at all, which compares with the experience of celebrating a requiem mass with good music in a gothic cathedral with a congregation which brings their memories and remembers with affection those whom they have loved.

I like the Fauré. Whenever I hear it it takes me right back to school – it was one of the musical pieces that I studied for O Level. Indeed, it was what we looked at first when that class started and I remember well saying, “Its a what?!” to to the music teacher, who had to being with Religious Education before the music could make any sense. I also never hear it without being reminded of the way it was sung at Iain Ogg’s requiem in Edinburgh several year’s ago. Utter defiance in the face of death.

Fauré wrote it, as I learnt in school, for his father, which is one of the reasons that it works well as a pastoral setting for a sung service, embracing all our griefs in its kindness.


  1. Moyra says

    I had my annual play of it last night, after a no less moving service, but musically, um, lacking!

    My music teacher had to do a fair amount of religious education the day I began on Bach’s Mass in B Minor… it took several years before the penny dropped and I made the connection between what I was then saying in church, a new experience, and had been singing in Choral Society in college for several years, and studying in a theoretical fashion for longer!

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