The walls were all hung with black, but, instead of the white trimmings that usually set off that funereal upholstery, there was an enormous stave of music with the notes of the DIES IRAE
, many times repeated.
One thing is certain,--that there is a mustering among the masses, the world over; and there is a dies irae
coming on, sooner or later.
If the march to the scaffold was slightly muted then the vividly realized Witches' Sabbath more than compensated, with the bells tolling the Dies Irae
sounding ominously from a distance as they ought.
In some cases, however, this may cause difficulties, for instance if one is looking for items that discuss composers' use of the Dies irae
or B-A-C-H motives.
It's tricky to bring off but the BPO's strings responded well to the challenge, with a strong foundation provided by cellos and basses, and a genuinely uncanny moment when the Dies Irae
Most are user-friendly, detailed, and informative presentations of the overall plan of a show or a useful arrangement of related musical motives, such as the assemblage of examples that display the ubiquitous presence of the Dies irae
in Sweeney Todd (Ex.
Just occasionally the men sounded a little reticent -in the Sanctus,for instance -and,during the Dies Irae
the discipline broke down ever so slightly and things became a little ragged.
The Dies Irae
was helter-skelter after a brisk Kyrie Eleison, there was little sense of stature and awe in Rex Tremendae, and, despite the efforts of a fine quartet of soloists, the emotion in Recordare was sadly lacking.
After a stuttering repeated low F on the timpani, the Dies irae
fairly screeches into life, the thirds of the Introitus turned into clusters and its "open" fifths into more harshly interlocking fourths.
The Dies Irae
, the climax of the Sanctus and the fugal ending to Libera Me were choral tours de force.
The composer gradually introduces the Dies Irae
plainchant which appears in so much of his work, and this is not the only link with his last orchestral composition, the gripping Symphonic Dances.
He was accompanied by an orchestra with reduced strings, allowing more of Rachmaninov's intricate detail to tell - not least Andrew Barnell's deliciously lugubrious bassoon solo in one of these Dies Irae