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Gianandrea Noseda conducts the LSO in Verdi's 'Dies Irae'. Picture: LSO/Getty/IMSLP
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Verdi’s terrifying choral depiction of judgment Day is increase there v the many unsettling music experiences. From its medieval origins to its meaning, this is what you should know.

You are watching: Dies irae dies illa solvet saeclum in favilla

Four stabs from the orchestra. A sea the swirling strings. Then, a threatening crescendo indigenous the reduced voice components cues in a soaring soprano line announcing, v hellish terror, the job of Wrath.


So starts the ‘Dies Irae’ ar of Verdi’s epic achievement – his Requiem. The work is one of the best-loved choral piece out below – thrilling come hear, and also incredible come sing.

And it’s this intense, fiery ar that renders conductors perform things favor this:


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When it pertains to spine-chilling music, Verdi’s walloping ‘Dies Irae’ is hard to beat. The native he collection have a fascinating background too. It’s an old text, now best known native its use in Requiem Masses. Composers from Mozart come Verdi have set these words come music for hundreds of years, every in their own means painting drama and also chaos in their writing.


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But what does it every mean?

To provide you a hint, choral composer Bob Chilcott, who performed the Requiem at the imperial Albert Hall previously last year, said the Guardian in ~ the time: “It’s about judgment, around the end of the world,” he says. “If you think what that says, climate we’re all stuffed.”

‘Dies Irae’ (literally, job of Wrath) is a middle ages Latin poem, and also one of the most famed melodies that the Gregorian Chant. In its original form, the a four-note melody describing judgment Day, the Christian work when humanity will come before God to receive judgment.


What are the text to ‘Dies Irae’?

Dies irae - dies illa


Solvet saeclum in favillaTeste David cum SybillaDies irae - die illaSolvet saeclum in favillaDies irae - dies illaSolvet saeclum in favillaTeste David cum Sybilla

Dies irae - dies irae - dies illa

Solvet saeclum in favillaSolvet saeclum in favillaTeste David cum Sybilla - SybillaDies irae - die irae - die irae

Quantus nervous est futurusQuando judex est venturusCuncta stricte discussurus


What is the English translation of ‘Dies Irae’?

The work of wrath, that day

Will rest up the world into ashAs testified by David and also the SybilThe work of wrath, the job of wrath, the dayWill break up the world into ashThe work of wrath, the dayWill rest up the civilization into ashAs testified by David and also the Sybil.

The work of wrath, the day of wrath, that day

Will break up the world into ashWill rest up the human being into ashAs testified by David and also the SybilThe job of wrath, the work of wrath, the day of wrath

How much trembling there will certainly beWhen the referee comesAnd strictly examines all things

What movies has ‘Dies Irae’ been supplied in?

‘Dies Irae’ in the original kind – the four-note motif from a 13th-century Gregorian hymn – can be found pretty much anywhere on the silver- screen, native The Lion King to The Shining.

Vox also did a whole episode top top the old melody, whereby they spotted that in The mr of the Rings, Star wars – episode IV A new Hope and the a wonderful Life.

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But if girlfriend head to Giuseppe Verdi’s IMDb page, you’ll also see his an excellent choral setup cropping up on every sorts of soundtracks – Mad Max, Django Unchained, black Mirror and The Simpsons, to surname a few.