Pie Jesu

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Pie Jesu is a motet derived from the final couplet of the Dies irae and often included in musical settings of the Requiem Mass. The settings of the Requiem Mass by Luigi Cherubini, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, John Rutter, Karl Jenkins and Fredrik Sixten include a Pie Jesu as an independent movement. Of all these, by far the best known is the Pie Jesu from Fauré's Requiem; Camille Saint-Saëns said of it, "just as Mozart's is the only Ave verum corpus, this is the only Pie Jesu".Steinberg, Michael. "Gabriel Fauré: Requiem, Op. 48." Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, 131–137.


The original text, derived from the Dies irae sequence, is as follows:

Pie (the vocative of the word pius) is conventionally translated as "sweet", but normally means "dutiful", "godly", "faithful", or "kind".Requiem (accusative of requies) is often translated as "peace", although that would be pacem, as in "Dona nobis pacem" ("Give us peace"). A more faithful translation of requiem would be "rest", as in "Requiem aeternam dona eis" ("Grant them eternal rest"). At the end is the word sempiternam ("sempiternal", a graded expression of aeternam, "eternal"), making it to dona eis requiem sempiternam ("grant them sempiternal rest").

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