Mozart’s Requiem


Sometimes I fall in love with pieces of music. One such is Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. Alexa, my virtual assistant, has it constantly on standby; when I return from work, away it plays. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of music written and it never fails to move my spirit. I feel a little uncomfortable admiring a requiem, which is essentially a Roman Catholic mass for the dead. Still, it was partly modelled on Handel’s somewhat sounder The Ways of Zion do Mourn and its words are not without merit. This translation of Mozart’s Latin is by the Manly Warringah Choir, Australia: 

Tuba mirum spargens sonum 

per sepulcra regionum, 

coget omnes ante thronum. 


The trumpet will send its wondrous 


throughout earth's sepulchres 

and gather all before the throne. 


Judex ergo cum sedebit, 

quidquid latet, apparebit, 

nil inultum remanebit. 


When the judge takes his place, 

what is hidden will be revealed, 

nothing will remain unavenged. 


Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? 

quem patronum rogaturus, 

cum vix justus sit securus? 


What shall a wretch like me say? 

Who shall intercede for me, 

when the just ones need mercy? 



Recordare, Jesu pie, 

quod sum causa tuae viae; 

ne me perdas illa die. 


Remember, kind Jesus, 

my salvation caused your 


do not forsake me on that day. 


Not bad theology. Sure, I’ve been selective and left out some of the Romish nonsense. Yet these words express a hope of God’s grace despite, no because, of the sinner’s deeds. Mozart died while he was still composing the piece in 1791; the work was completed by Süssmayr. I can only hope that Herr Mozart, arguably the most ingenious composer Europe ever produced, was more than a loyal son of Rome, but a blood-washed child of God. Piety, religiosity, church membership and musical genius are not enough to fit one for heaven. And when a sinner does repent and comes to Christ, the angels in heaven rejoice, perchance singing a more delectable tune than even this.  

If you haven’t yet listened to it, click this.

Image by Holger Detje from Pixabay