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Libera me means “Free me”…”and I have added…from the limitations of my own humanity”. This is a call to come alive to new possibilities, to die to our old ways and ultimately be renewed by the transcendent power of the Christian faith to a state of trust and love.




The Crucifixus takes its symbology from the Christian biblical description of Good Friday.

 “A vision of hell, a world where there is no love has only cruelty, pain, loneliness“ sings the mezzo-soprano sinuously  in this slow “sarabande” a stately dance of Moorish/Spanish origin in triple meter which lends itself to the inclusion of references to Ravel’s dance of life and death orchestral Bolero.




In the fiery Dies Irae large orchestral-choral forces wrestle furiously with the spirits of old rage and misery - subterranean toxic forces within the psyche and within a civilization.causing havoc.
The text is traditional Latin, translated into old English:

Days of wrath and doom impending
Heav’n and earth in ashes ending




The title of this movement comes from the word for a tear, lacrima. The movement is a recognition  of Mozart’s contribution to the requiem literature and employs a  much smaller, more intimate musical ensemble then the Dies Irae, including saxophone and mbira. Under the title stands “to be or not to be”, a fragment of text from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. This is fragile moment and the turning point of the Requiem, the moment when the embattled soul decides to live.




Sanctus 1 & 2 are worship prayers for antiphonal choirs, call singer, kudu horns, djembe, praise singer(s)/poets in indigenous SA and /or international languages interpreting specifically chosen praise psalms texts, and full orchestral forces. The two “Sanctuses” frame the In Paradisum  and their overall mood is joyous and celebratory, affirming life.



Choir: In paradisum le baiser de l’enfant Jesu

Duet: Soprano and boy soprano



The Benedictus is very simple and delicate, requiring a boy soprano in the traditional Latin mass text, male voice choir singing an anonymous text translated into Zulu, and female voices commenting (“mysterium”) over sparse orchestration. The Latin text is set in an altered melodic contour derived from a childhood memory of a benediction sung during school carol services.



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