Requiem (Rutter)

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The Requiem, composed by the British composer John Rutter, is a musical setting of parts of the Latin Requiem with added psalms in English, completed in 1985. Four of the movements were first performed at Fremont Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, California on 14 March 1985, and the first performance of the full work was at Lovers' Lane United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas on 13 October 1985. The composer conducted both of these performances. The first movement is an Introit and Kyrie, and then follows Out of the Deep based on Psalm 130, and the motet Pie Jesu. Next comes the lively Sanctus (with the Benedictus) and the Agnus Dei. The sixth movement is Psalm 23, often sung at funerals in the Anglican church, and the Requiem concludes with Lux aeterna.


John Rutter's Requiem was completed in 1985. The setting utilises a choir with an orchestral accompaniment, along with a soprano soloist. The Requiem was first performed on 13 October 1985 at Lovers' Lane United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas (Director of Music: Allen Pote) by the Sanctuary Choir and orchestra. Movements 1, 2, 4, and 7 were first performed on the 14th of March 1985 at Fremont Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, California (Minister of Music: Mel Olson) by the Sanctuary Choir and ensemble. Both performances were conducted by the composer. The Lord is my Shepherd was originally written in 1976 as a separate anthem.

The first movement consists of the Introit from the Requiem (Requiem aeternam) and the Kyrie. The second movement is entitled Out of the Deep, and is based on Psalm 130, a psalm commonly used at Anglican funerals. It contains a prominent cello solo written in C minor. The third movement is the motet Pie Jesu. It begins with a soprano soloist singing with a very light accompaniment, with only slight involvement of the chorus echoing the words "Dona eis requiem, Dona eis sempiternam requiem". The fourth movement is the Sanctus (with Benedictus) and, characteristically, it is a bright, lively, and exclamatory movement which is brightly orchestrated with bells, flute, and oboe and occasional timpani recalling the passage in Old Testament scripture in Isaiah chapter 6, and the worship of the six-winged seraphim in the heavenly throne-room of God. The fifth movement is the Agnus Dei of the Requiem. The sixth movement is Psalm 23, another psalm commonly used at Anglican funerals. The seventh movement includes words from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Burial Service ("I heard a voice from heaven...") and the communion chant from Requiem (Lux aeterna).

The work lasts about 40 minutes.

List of movements[edit]

  1. Requiem aeternam
  2. Psalm 130: Out of the deep
  3. Pie Jesu
  4. Sanctus – Benedictus
  5. Agnus Dei
  6. Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd
  7. Lux aeterna


Latin English
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
et lux perpetua luceat eis. and may light eternal shine upon them.
Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion, A hymn is raised unto Thee in Zion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem: and a vow paid to Thee in Jerusalem:
exaudit orationem meam, give ear to my prayer, O Lord,
ad te omnis caro veniet. unto Thee all flesh shall come at last.
Kyrie, eleison, Lord, have mercy!
Christe, eleison, Christ, have mercy!
Kyrie, eleison, Lord, have mercy!

English text from the Burial Service (slightly altered); Latin text, Missa pro defunctis English translations by John Rutter


  • Rutter, John. (1986) REQUIEM Vocal Score. Oxford University Press

External links[edit]

  • Recording of Requiem with Orchestra by St. Matthew's Choir of Ealing: Requiem