Dies Irae
Performed By Fernando Lozano & Filarmónica 5 De Mayo
Album UPC 968542402006
CD Baby Track ID TR0001070165
Label Centro Cultural Zona Rosa
Released 2015-01-02
BPM 146
Rated 0
ISRC usx9p1438060
Year 2015
Spotify Plays 109
Writer Venus Rey Jr.
Pub Co Venus Rey Jr.
Composer Venus Rey Jr.
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master
Rights Easy Clear: Master
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country Mexico


Powerful. Deeply moving. Two hundred musicians and singers performing this overwhelming Requiem. A profound vision of life and death. Once you've listened, nothing will remain the same. 80 minutes of wonderful music. Do not miss it.


This Requiem Mass was composed between January 6 and May 18, 2013, which means that this colossal work was written in less than five months. It has twelve movements and it uses the liturgical text of the Requiem Mass, as composers such as Mozart and Verdi have used it. This Requiem Mass is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 4 trumpets in B flat, 3 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, tubular bells, gongs, cymbals, triangle, bass drum, snare drum, piano, mixed choir, soprano soloist, tenor soloist and string. The Requiem elapses for more than 80 minutes.

The composer has employed several technics and musical elements: baroque counterpoint, neoclassical equilibrium, romantic pathos and 20th century languages and expressions. This is the reason why this work may be labeled as eclectic and, to some extent, ecumenical. The influences of Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Dmitri Shostakovich are evident.

There are two important musical quotations: in the Sanctus (Hosanna in Excelsis), the quotation is the opening sequence of chords of the First Book of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier; the second is the March from the Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, by Henry Purcell, very well known to the public due to it´s use in Stanley Kubrick’s motion Picture A clockwork orange. Furthermore than just a quote, the composer uses the medieval anthem Dies Iræ in the central section of the third movement. All these elements and musical influences, far from undermining originality, they give the work a unique character. The tonal language, very friendly to any ear, will immediately create an affective link with the public.

The title of the work is not only the word Requiem, but the expression Music for the Peace as well. With this the author wants to contribute with a message of peace, concord and hope to a country that has suffered troubled times. “Mexico and its people”, says the author”, “are greater than their problems.” This work is dedicated to all those innocents whose lives have been taken by Mexican organized crime, especially the children assassinated by their kidnappers.

It could be said that this Requiem is written in G minor, although we do not see a succession of tonalities amidst the movements according to a traditional scheme of dominants, subdominants neither major or minor relatives. Thus the first two movements are written in G minor, but the third, Dies Iræ, is in A minor. The thematic elements we hear in the Introitus are used also in the Lacrimosa. The final movement, Lux Æterna, uses both the thematic elements we hear in the Introitus and the Lacrimosa. These three movements are the vertebral column of the Requiem.

Lacrimosa and Lux Æterna end with a G major chord that comes subtly after a series of notes performed by the piano, notes that emerge undoubtedly from a Bach’s prelude played by the composer during his childhood.

“In the threshold of audition”, explains the composer, “that G major chord fades away just as life fades away: a sound that evaporates from our hands, just like the soul evaporates from the body in the moment of dead… and we do not know if this is the end or the beginning; and that’s the mystery of life and dead.”

The piano plays a very important role in this Requiem. The piano part is not especially difficult, but nevertheless the piano creates such a texture and such an atmosphere impossible to achieve with other instruments. A piano part in a Requiem Mass is very unusual. Perhaps the only precedent is A Requiem for my friend, by the polish composer Zbigniew Preisner, although it must be noticed that the role of the piano in that composition is marginal.

The massive orchestral and choral forces Venus Rey Jr. uses in this composition make of this Requiem a work with no precedent in the Mexican symphonic repertoire. Requiem Music for the Peace is destined to be not only the Mexican Requiem, but also the Latin American Requiem par excellence.

The composer has been supported by the Mexican Congress, the National Council for Culture and Arts, the Government of Puebla State and the Puebla Council for Culture and Arts.

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