By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. You will only see this message once.

Like most websites Nick Bicât uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalised, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. These cookies are completely safe and secure and will never contain any sensitive information. They are used only by Nick Bicât or the trusted partners we work with.

News/Events

Share this page

News

Nick Bicât
Nick Bicât
Nick Bicât

BESLAN/ REQUIEM

Thursday 8th March 2012

Requiem was composed over a number of years and combines traditional texts from the Mass for the Dead with a selection of early Christian epitaphs in both Greek and Latin.The result is both poignant and powerful, with soaring choral lines and lyrical solo passages that dovetail between the movements of the liturgy.

Nick Bicât writes:

In researching early Christian memorial texts (particularly those from the catacombs in Rome, Greece, Alexandria and all around the Mediterranean) I was struck by the tone of the epitaphs – many written for people of no civic status or importance – the positive imagery, the loving tone of the inscriptions, and particularly by the absence of warnings about hell fire and torment, even the absence of the crucifix image.

In studying the evolution of the Requiem Mass for the Dead, it became clear that more and more fear and damnation entered the text as the centuries passed (notably the 28 verses of the Dies Irae (a 13th Century addition). These epitaphs have a wonderfully matter-of-fact character; they are tender and optimistic, more about renewal than sin, and celebrate people from all walks of life. They are the simple and heartfelt words which people use to make their own ritual, and remind us of what underlies the monumental structure of the text we take for granted, of the human lives it is meant to serve.