Tentative K-pop favorites

Music Spotlight

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It wasn’t easy for me to accept K-pop music. At first it seemed to be highly unmusical and mostly about eye candy, but eventually I did find a “way in” and my tastes have expanded a bit. I still remain ignorant at large, with a lot of areas in K-pop left to try. For example, I haven’t found a boy group I like (probably due to the same initial barrier as mentioned).

Favorite groups

Apink

Hundreds of songs in, I finally found a group whose songs I generally liked. Apink’s image as a girl group is one of girly innocence, which is a lot less common than girl groups that emphasize dancing and sexiness. Their songs also tend to be happy/cheerful, as opposed to more universally common themes of romantic troubles.

My favorite song from Apink, or at least the one I’ve been most obsessed with:

I like the Japanese version of this song a bit better, but this is about K-pop 😛

AOA

I don’t really “follow” musicians or other artists, so I literally just found out their name stands for Ace of Angels. Anyway, AOA definitely do sexier songs, with most of them deliberately featuring some form of ass wiggling. Unlike other groups where dancing is a major (or even primary) part of the appeal, I’d say their dancing enhances their songs (whereas I feel like many other groups rely on dancing, fashion, rap, etc over musicality.)

For a favorite, I have to pick Excuse Me. Other songs such as Confused, Like a Cat, and Miniskirt have catchier beats with more substance, but the choreography (not as well represented in the music video) for Excuse Me is catchy and unashamedly empowering. Let’s be honest—both men and women may seek to recreate Choa’s legendary moment.

Stellar

Girl group Stellar mainly gained popularity (and notoriety) after adopting a more provocative image, with some of their content being rated 19+ including two videos banned for being sexually suggestive. A fair part of K-pop is somewhat sexualized (due to certain bans in Korea contributing to repression and such elements being redirected into other forms such as K-pop culture) but not necessarily provocative. However, Stellar’s better known music videos are downright provocative, featuring erotic dance moves, needlessly suggestive outfits, and completely unsubtle symbolism. Their success when relying on skin exposure was accompanied by significant backlash. Did they take things too far? I think what they produced was bold and not entirely tasteless. Unsurprisingly, the girls said they accepted that they were in a “do or die” situation but it was never their intention to be so provocative. Ultimately, they could not be successful during their attempts to tone things down and the group has subsequently disbanded.

From the intense and provocative to their original innocent and care-free style, I actually appreciate the diversity of their songs. All of their members have really beautiful faces and the music videos are alluring. Usually it wouldn’t matter (with other genres of music), but choreography and visuals are important to K-pop in the same sense that Billie Jean is a standalone song but Michael Jackson’s dancing makes it an entirely different experience. Anyhow, my favorite song is Crying:

Other songs/artists worth mentioning

IU

Singer, songwriter, and actress. SO CUTE. Diverse styles, including my most preferred: romantic ballads.

Cherry Blossom Ending — Busker Busker

Such a dreamy song from an indie band.

 

All For You

Good duets are always hard to find.

Why I hate nightcore

If you haven’t heard of nightcore, just avoid it if you ever come across it.

I think nightcore is a perversion of music.

  • Nightcore remixes are worse than originals, so why do they even exist?
  • Modern nightcore is not a genre. It’s a style linked to a form of remixing that can be applied to songs of any genre. If nightcore is a genre, then anyone can violate any existing music in a certain way and call it their own genre.
  • When a song is remixed, vocals conveying serious emotions just become cute, and the beat becomes hyperactive. While I do like some cute anime songs, what kind of person tries to turn random stuff into that? I don’t hate nightcore songs specifically—as bad as they usually are—I hate what nightcore stands for. People who enjoy nightcore support taking stuff that they never liked and twisting it until they do like it. That’s not art, that’s catering towards people with less civilized tastes through deformation of art.

Playing and singing

I’ve never been a natural at playing the piano. I’ve never been a natural at singing. When I try to do both at the same time, it means one has to go to autopilot or else both go to custard. A while ago, I concluded that if I can’t master one then I can’t master both; I’m just not one of those people who can sing and play at the same time.

But then I surprised myself despite having given up. It’s as if my brain wanted to prove me wrong. I’m starting to discover the balance. Good singing requires more control, so it always has to be piano that goes on autopilot. If anything, the piano is just an afterthought to the singing performance. The voice does not accompany the piano after all.

My interpretation of “Instant Crush” (Daft Punk)

“Instant Crush” by Daft Punk (ft. Julian Casablancas) is a song that I liked from the first time I heard it, though I don’t know why exactly. The vocals are heavily processed and have a mellow and underwhelming presence. I could barely understand anything from the lyrics the first few times. The music video did leave a lasting impression though.

When I looked up the lyrics for the first time, of course it didn’t make much sense. The lyrics seem quite ambiguous and all over the place. Genius, a website for user-submitted song lyric interpretations, had some interesting suggestions. Initially, it still seemed a mess and that no one really understood the song. The most common interpretation is probably that the song refers to a love triangle, where Casablancas and another guy both have the same love interest, and Casablancas is the one being friendzoned by the girl. This interpretation is sometimes accompanied by a hint of speculation about his marriage, rather than it just being an inspired work. While it seemed like possibly the most straightforward interpretation of the lyrics, something didn’t sit right with me. The Pre-chorus just seemed to lack context, and most of all the name of the song didn’t mean anything.

[Pre-chorus]
‘I listened to your problems
Now listen to mine’
I didn’t want to anymore, oh oh ohh

The preceding line of the first pre-chorus is:

And all I hear is the last thing that you said

So it seems like Casablancas is the one who admitted that he didn’t want to listen to his lover’s problems anymore. This doesn’t fit with the rest of the song, which gives the impression that Casablancas was almost infatuated.

As I listened to the song more and more, it eventually started making sense to me. There were two things that I held in the utmost importance:

  1. How is the lyrical meaning consistent with the title? Why is the song called “Instant Crush” if most combinations of interpretations just seem to form arbitrary details about the relationship?
  2. What is the song about, on an emotional level? What sentiments would lead to someone expressing these lyrics?

As a side note, I’m used to a lot of music videos not matching up to the lyrics at all, so I decided to ignore the music video for the most part in trying to make sense of the lyrics.

Core assertions of my interpretation

  1. This song is about Casablancas and his romantic interest. There is no third guy or love triangle.
  2. Casablancas uses both first-person and third-person perspectives. When he uses the third-person, at least some of the time he is adopting the perspective of his partner.
  3. His “lover” is the one who let him down by not listening to his problems, lying, and generally failing him as a friend.
  4. The person he “chained [himself] to [as] a friend” is his lover.

Evidence against the love triangle theory

Frankly, all I can say is that the love triangle theory makes a mess of interpreting all the different lines. If my interpretation makes sense of nearly everything, there’s no need for such a conflicting theory.

He ask me once if I’d look in on his dog

For example, the above lyric is completely out of place if it’s referring to a third guy. I mean, it’s possible to construct a scenario where it means something in the context of the love triangle, but why should the reader jump through such mental hoops for a relatively unimportant line?

Either the lyrics are abstract and poorly written, or that isn’t the right interpretation.

Elaboration of important lines

Honestly, it all just makes sense if you adopt my four assumptions, but I’ll clarify the meaning of some important parts.

I didn’t want to be the one to forget
I thought of everything I’d never regret
A little time with you is all that I get
That’s all we need because it’s all we can take
One thing I never see the same when you’re ’round
I don’t believe in him—his lips on the ground
I wanna take you to that place in the “Roche”
But no one gives us any time anymore
He ask me once if I’d look in on his dog
You made an offer for it, then you ran off
I got this picture of us kids in my head
And all I hear is the last thing that you said

The key thing to note is that the lines jump between perspectives multiple times in this verse.

One thing I never see the same when you’re ’round

Casablancas’ point of view, because he is infatuated.

I don’t believe in him — his lips on the ground

His lover’s point of view (or what he imagines), because he almost worships her in a way that could only be shallow.

He ask me once if I’d look in on his dog

Lover’s perspective.

You made an offer for it, then you ran off

Casablancas’ perspective, saying she agreed to look after the dog but didn’t keep her word.

And all I hear is the last thing that you said

For some of these lines, it is ambiguous whose perspective it is, and it doesn’t change the meaning much either way. However, the line above is probably said from Casablancas’ perspective. The distinction might be arbitrary, but I’d say that in spite of the changes in perspective, all of it is ultimately being voiced and portrayed by Casablancas.

[Pre-chorus]
‘I listened to your problems
Now listen to mine’
I didn’t want to anymore, oh oh ohh

As for the pre-chorus, Casablancas is recalling their last conversation, but the first two lines are what he said, and it’s the last line that’s her response and the last thing she said (though probably not in the completely literal sense). This is an example that ties with the line of the chorus:

Kinda counted on you being a friend

The rest of the lyrics are still potentially ambiguous, but at least it should be clear what kind of atmosphere and significance there is even when the exact interpretation is unclear.

So what is the song really about?

Is there really a right or wrong interpretation of lyrics? Well, it’s a controversial question when it comes to poetry, which is quite similar. I would say that I personally believe the love triangle interpretation to be wrong. However, I also think it’s justified to go with whatever interpretation makes you content when things are ambiguous. Here is my personal interpretation.

Instant Crush is about an instant crush

Funnily enough, this was not an easy conclusion to make.

Overall, the song describes a relationship where the guy idealized the girl too much to begin with. The relationship might not have lasted anyway, but the song is dedicated to that kind of mistaken attitude and its practical and emotional consequences.

“He thought he saw someone that looked just like me” refers to him thinking that they were a perfect match and continuing things based on that misconception.

Lines such as “He sees right through me, it’s so easy with lies” and “Kinda counted on you being a friend” allude to the fact that despite Casablancas being aware of problems with the relationship (perhaps more so in hindsight), he tried to ignore them at the time in favor of his naive attitude regarding this crush. Indeed, in the present tense he is conflicted about whether the relationship should really continue or not (“Can I give it up or give it away”).

Ultimately, it’s the following part of the chorus that eventually clicked for me. I realized that I recognized this feeling and that I strongly relate to it:

Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chained myself to a friend
Cause I know it unlocks like a door / Cause I don’t know what else I can do

Romanticizing things too much was not his only mistake. He doesn’t know where to go or what else to do, so this relationship is founded on that insecurity of lacking other options. That’s the twist. This “Instant Crush” is a distorted kind of romantic interest. It’s the kind of relationship you pursue just because there is no one else, and that person is just the one who happened to be there. It’s convincing yourself there’s something there where there’s not, just because it’s easier to believe the lie in some ways. It could have been anyone, and not for whether it was really a suitable match or not. It’s not love at all, it’s just a blind crush.

If anything, she never really cared about him.

I don’t understand, don’t get upset, I’m not with you

Look over the full lyrics from this kind of pessimistic perspective. Is there any reliable evidence that they were ever even friends? That this wasn’t an entirely one-sided thing and this is all just his wishful recollection?

I didn’t want to be the one to forget
I thought of everything I’d never regret
A little time with you is all that I get
That’s all we need because it’s all we can take

One thing I never see the same when you’re ’round
I don’t believe in him—his lips on the ground
I wanna take you to that place in the “Roche”
But no one gives us any time anymore

He ask me once if I’d look in on his dog
You made an offer for it then you ran off
I got this picture of us kids in my head
And all I hear is the last thing that you said

‘I listened to your problems
Now listen to mine’
I didn’t want to anymore, oh

And we will never be alone again
‘Cause it doesn’t happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away

Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chain myself to a friend
‘Cause I know it unlocks like a door

And we will never be alone again
‘Cause it doesn’t happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away

Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chain myself to a friend
Some more again

It didn’t matter what they wanted to see
He thought you saw someone that looked just like me
The summer memory that just never dies
We worked too long and hard to give it no time

He sees right through me, it’s so easy with lies
Cracks in the road that I would try and disguise
He runs his scissor up the seam in the wall
He cannot break it down or else he will fall

One thousand lonely stars, hiding in the cold
Take it, I don’t wanna sing anymore

‘I listened to your problems
Now listen to mine’
I didn’t want to anymore, oh

And we will never be alone again
‘Cause it doesn’t happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away

Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chained myself to a friend
‘Cause I know it unlocks like a door

And we will never be alone again
‘Cause it doesn’t happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away

Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chained myself to a friend
‘Cause I know it unlocks like a 


I don’t understand, don’t get upset, I’m not with you
We’re swimming around, it’s all I do
When I’m with you

And we will never be alone again
‘Cause it doesn’t happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away

Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chained myself to a friend
‘Cause I know it unlocks like a door

And we will never be alone again
‘Cause it doesn’t happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away
Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chained myself to a friend
‘Cause I know it unlocks like a door

Baroque music playlist

Music Spotlight

This is an informal post detailing a themed playlist of 10 Baroque pieces that I recommend for someone unfamiliar with Baroque music. There’s nothing particularly educated about my choices; it’s just a personal selection of things I love, although I have tried to diversity it a little. I hope you’ll find something you like.

Brief intro

What people refer to as “classical music” is very broad. Anyhow, Baroque music is a style of classical music composed from 1600 to 1750. It’s one of my favorite genres, although it might be considered an acquired taste because it doesn’t just “make sense” to the “classically untrained”, unlike music from the Classical period (1750-1820).

You may have heard of Baroque style architecture; gold-plated everything, very ostentatious, the more ornaments and fancy decorations the better, even (especially) in churches. Baroque music is very stylistically distinct and has a lot of roles. Despite these rules, it’s usually very playful and dance-like in nature *because* of these rules. Great Baroque compositions are all about conforming to the rules and expectations yet knowing when to stylishly break the rules.

Ornamentation in the musical sense is also a prominent feature of Baroque music and overall there are some similarities between Baroque and Jazz.

1. “Ev’ry valley” from Messiah (Handel)

Handel’s Messiah is one of the most famous Baroque works. A concert performance of Messiah typically lasts two or so hours, but even then many pieces have to be left out because of the sheer number of pieces composed in this work. Here’s one of my favorite performances of one of the pieces. I like this one because the performer nails all those other components, not just sounding good: facial expression, conveying a message, dynamics, etc. Truly exceptional.

2. “Air on the G String” (Bach) – Bobby McFerrin

A very recognizable piece by Bach and one of my favorites, performed a bit differently by Bobby McFerrin, who is very unique and innovative. (Bach is the most famous Baroque composer. Heck, the end of the Baroque period is considered around 1750, which is the year he died. Coincidence?)

3. “Deconstructing Johann” (King’s Singers)

A quirky jazzy a capella (unaccompanied) medley performed by the King’s Singers. The King’s Singers are a very famous British vocal group.

4. Orchestra Suite No. 3 Gavotte (Bach) – Jacques Loussier Trio

I loved this concert (24 Hour Swinging Bach – Bach’s 250th anniversary concert in Leipzig) to pieces, so this is the third performance already in this list from it. I had a CD of this concert, but I’d pay anything to be at such an event these days! Who said classical music can’t be groovy?

5. Improvisation on Bach (Bobby McFerrin)

Bobby McFerrin is completely unique for several reasons; his impossible vocal agility, wide range, beat-boxing-like ability, unique improvisations, and even the ability to produce two notes at the same time!

6. “Rejoice in the Lord alway” (Purcell)

A very playful piece.

7. “As Vesta was from Latmos Hill Descending” (Thomas Weelkes)

Some other noticeable aspects of Baroque music. Tension is a very important aspect; great Baroque music just seems to keep flowing and keep you expecting/wanting what’s coming. Choral pieces often have a formal structure much like an essay that is discussing a topic, with introduction, conclusion, and paragraphs arguing for and against each main point. Counterpoint, i.e., multiple parts playing the same theme (or singing the same text) but starting one after the other is another common feature. Themes often recur. In fact, some pieces are based entirely on the “subject” established in the first eight bars of music.
Here’s a Madrigal, early Baroque, that demonstrates the layering effect throughout the piece.

8. Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 (Bach)

A real badass piece. The tension is maintained masterfully in this composition. Read the other Music Spotlight to learn more about the harpsichord and this piece.

9. “Agnus Dei” from Mass in B minor (Bach)

This is sung by Andreas Scholl, a famous German countertenor. A countertenor is a male who sings in the vocal range of female voice types. Don’t ask me how the physiology works; normal singing pedagogy is controversial and conflicting enough as it stands.

10. “Suscepit Israel” from Magnificat (Bach)

Celtic Woman

Re-examining old tastes

Back in high school I used to listen to some songs by Celtic Woman, an all-female Irish group. I uncovered an old favorite recently and had another look at this group. Three things haven’t changed:

  1. I don’t actually like any of their individual voices.
  2. Some of their arrangements are just too good that I can overlook #1.
  3. I lost interest in them because Hayley Westenra joined them.

One thing has changed: I now think their performances are a disgrace.

Side rant on Hayley Westenra

NZ has at most five recognizable musicians or musical groups (probably closer to two in modern times). Hayley Westenra used to be one of them and I’m glad she’s now irrelevant. I strongly dislike her voice and everything she stands for. Maybe she sings beautifully, but at the same time all her songs are soulless, and I dare say her talent is unremarkable. Usually I’d stop here, because music is just music these days, and you can’t judge a person based on their music. But there are many exceptions to this, and I think as a former teenage star Hayley is one of those exceptions. Her beginning defined her. The way her career progressed, and the nuances of her performance: they still capture that flawed beginning. Is Hayley a good singer? A good role model? A good person? I think these are all related. It is also hard for me to dismiss the time she so casually butchered one of the national songs of my birth country at the World Games.

What changed?

Having learned more about recording and acoustics from dabbling in home recording, I realized this time round that one of my favorite songs When You Believe wasn’t quite right: the performance is lip-synced. Lip-syncing is common but we’re not talking 50%. We’re talking 100% lip-synced. The soloist ChloĂ« Agnew is not producing any sound for the audience to hear. It gets worse. The whole choir behind her, and the instrumentalists including the flutist are lip-syncing and miming too. So more like, the performance is 5000% lip-synced. The whole song is a basically a prerecording with fancy clothing and exaggerated choreography. Who the actual fuck does that? Could you enjoy a concert knowing that was happening?

Conclusion

I’m not saying that Celtic Woman didn’t have talent; they clearly did. I’m not saying that all their songs within all their concerts were complete prerecordings; most of Hayley’s singing was probably live at the least. Still, it’s disappointing to realize that Celtic Woman happened to be one of the worst offenders in the industry.

 

Requiem

Music Spotlight: DuruflĂ©’s Requiem

According to the TED presentation, The transformative power of classical music | Benjamin Zander (which I can recommend if you’re craving a bit of emotional inspiration), the purpose of music is simply to make us feel something. Not all music has a well defined purpose, but the topic of this spotlight does—it’s a requiem.

If you learn nothing else from this post, remember this:

A Requiem is a celebration for the dead.

Where did requiems originate from?

Requiems are inspired by the Requiem Mass, a Catholic liturgical service. Composers began to use the texts from the Requiem Mass simply because of the dramatic character, but these works are not performed for services (they’re too long and have no liturgical relevance). Even though a Requiem may have limited genuine religious value, it’s still interesting to note some of the context.

A Requiem Mass is offered for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral. In Catholic funerals, the Church seeks firstly to offer Mass for the benefit of the soul of the deceased so that the temporal effects of sin in Purgatory may be extinguished, and secondly to provide condolence and comfort for the deceased’s family and exhort the latter to pray, along with the Church, for the soul of the departed. [Adapted from Wikipedia]

Maurice Duruflé

The piece is simply titled Requiem so we call it DuruflĂ©’s Requiem. The composer was a notorious perfectionist who would even touch up his works after they were published! That’s something that speaks to me strongly. It is difficult for me to describe or categorize Requiem. Some might call it arabesque music, others might even say it’s impressionist music (a controversial term—”conveying the moods and emotions aroused by the subject rather than a detailed tone‐picture”). It definitely incorporates themes from Gregorian chants.

Personal significance of DuruflĂ©’s Requiem

My overall reaction to hearing Requiem was at first, and still is, I can’t believe music like this exists. I’ve sung Gregorian chants and other Requiems before. This isn’t even close to anything else I know. Musically speaking, there are so many time changes in the music, and yet it has this fluidity due to its Gregorian inspirations that transcends standard time. Difficult to count through, I cannot imagine myself being able to master playing the organ part within a lifetime. There’s also so much diversity and richness of emotion over the various ritual texts. Even the disinterested observer would not be able to write it off as “the same old religious music.”

I had the ‘privilege’ of singing DuruflĂ©’s Requiem for its actual written purpose, in dedication to our own choir member who had taken his own life. Although he was simply a loose acquaintance, I had just started to enjoy interacting with him under a different context to our less-than-cordial past. Our preparation and performance came near the height of my dissatisfaction with our choir. I cared nothing for our group on a personal level, and, while supposedly being the best permanent choir in town, I held our work ethic and lack of attention beyond notes and ego-based environment in absolute disdain. Eventually I did quit and no longer wished to pursue one of my former dreams of joining the national youth choir, which somehow I’m sure I was capable of doing. It’s funny, but I just do not gel with musicians.

Naturally, singing the Requiem was not about me. I put everything aside to do my best in this celebration for the dead. It didn’t matter if I was performing alongside others for whom this was a mere formality. It didn’t even matter if I made mistakes, which remarkably I didn’t. My sincere and brave presence was required, and that was it.

Requiem is a damn sophisticated work. There were many parts I didn’t fully appreciate in context until I bothered to examine the translation of the Latin. Whether you understand the words or music or not, just imagine listening to it as a parting celebration for a hypothetical person, and then it will start to make sense. Not all of it, but some of it will speak out powerfully.

Translation

DuruflĂ©’s Requiem is set in nine movements. To provide context, I’ve included small excerpts with translations for each movement. I encourage you to read along while listening to it.

I. Introit (entrance)

Requiem aeternam
dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Eternal rest
give to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

II. Kyrie (Lord, have mercy)

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Lord have mercy on us,
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.

III. Domine Jesu Christe (Lord Jesus Christ—offertory)

Domine Jesu Christe, rex gloriae
libera animas omnium fidelium
defunctorum de poenis inferni

O Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,
deliver the souls of all the faithful
departed from the pains of hell
and from the deep pit.

Tu suscipe pro animabus illis,
quarum hodie
memoriam facimus,
fac eas, Domine,
de morte transire ad vitam

do Thou accept them
for those souls
whom we this day commemorate;
grant them, O Lord,
to pass from death to the life

IV. Sanctus (Holy)

Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth,
pleni sunt coeli
et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis!
Benedictus, qui venit
in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis!

Holy, Lord God of hosts.
The heavens and the earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He Who cometh
in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

V. Pie Jesu (Pious Jesus)

Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem sempiternam.

Gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest.

VI. Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)

Agnus Dei, qui tollis
peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem sempiternam

Lamb of God, Who takest away
the sins of the world:
grant them eternal rest.

VII. Lux aeterna (Eternal light)

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.

May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord,
with Thy saints forever,
for Thou art merciful.

Requiem aeternam
dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Eternal rest
give to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

VIII. Libera me (Deliver me)

Libera me, Domine,
de morte aeterna,

Deliver me, O Lord,
from eternal death

dum veneris judicare
saeculum per ignem.

and Thou shalt come
to judge the world by fire.

Tremens factus sum ego et timeo
dum discussio venerit

I quake with fear and I tremble
awaiting the day of account

Dies illa, dies irae,
calamitatis et miseriae,

Day of mourning, day of wrath,
of calamity, of misery,

Requiem aeternam
dona eis, Domine,

Eternal rest
give to them, O Lord,

Libera me, Domine,
de morte aeterna,

Deliver me, O Lord,
from eternal death

IX. In Paradisum (Into paradise)

In Paradisum
deducant Angeli in tuo
adventu suscipiant te Martyres
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
aeternam habeas requiem.

May the angels
receive them in Paradise,
at thy coming may the martyrs receive thee
and bring thee into the holy city Jerusalem.
There may the chorus of angels receive thee,
and with Lazarus, once a beggar,
may thou have eternal rest.

Listen

At the time of writing, this one is my favorite recording of Requiem available on YouTube. It’s a very difficult work and I feel some of the other performances are a bit off.

Further reading

Full text and translation.

There’s even a whole Honors thesis on this. The DuruflĂ© Requiem: A Guide for Interpretation