Commissioned by the 2014 Presteigne Festival, the Requiem for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (2013-2014) of Paweł Łukaszewski will be premiered on Sunday, August 24 at 7:45 p.m. in St Andrew’s Church in Presteigne, Wales, UK. The premiere will be performed by Rachel Nicholls (soprano), Christopher Foster (baritone), the Joyful Company of Singers and the Presteigne Festival Orchestra under George Vass.
According to Łukaszewski:
Requiem for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra (2013-2014) is the second link of the Officium defunctorum cycle and a continuation of the funeral theme taken up in Vesperae pro defunctis (1995) and Salve Regina (2010).
This about 55 minute long opus comprises of ten parts: Requiem aeternam, Kyrie, Psalm 23, Alleluia, Pie Jesu, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Lux aeterna, In paradisum and Libera me. Almost every part is dedicated to recently deceased people who, for various reasons, were close to me, among whom I would like to mention Wojciech Kilar, John Tavener, Wiesława Krodkiewska, Cardinal Józef Glemp, Otto Stock and family members: Leszek Łukaszewski, Andrzej Patrzyk and Michalina and Zenon Michalski.
During funeral rites the dead are commended to God’s keeping, the hope of the living is strengthened, the belief that all the baptised will be resurrected with Christ is declared, the prayers for the departed to cross death into life are recited. Therefore the message behind the funeral liturgy is the hope of eternal life, the profession of the belief in the resurrection, and another encounter in the Kingdom of Heaven. From the heavenly Jerusalem angels will come to meet the soul and they will lead them to Paradise, where they will be greeted by the martyrs to the accompaniment of angelic choirs.
My Requiem is an attempt to introduce the greatest mystery of our faith.