Jeffrey A. Young
Fantasy on the Dies Irae
Difficulty: Grade 5, Medium-Advanced
Instrumentation: Concert Band
This work uses as its thematic material, the well known melody of the “Dies Irae.” The “Dies Irae,” which translates to “Day of Wrath”, is what is referred to as the sequence of the Requiem Mass proper, and uses as its text a long poem depicting the Apocalypse. It has been used in many different works by composers across the centuries, from being used as a Cantus Firmus in many Renaissance works, to Symphony Fantistique by Hector Berlioz, and more recently, in Gryorgy Ligeti’s Requiem, which was used as music in the movie The Shining. Fantasy on the Dies Irae is a series of thematic transformations, working the theme through several variations of growing intensity.