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The Fauré Requiem by Gastão Cruz, translated by Alexis Levitin

We would listen endlessly to Fauré’s

Requiem, that would lead us

in paradisum (without our supposing

ourselves belated angels, in that time

already somewhat  tarnished, not that the sun

wasn’t gazing down on us from a cloudless sky):

in paradisum deducant

angeli, a murmuring of harps after

Dieskau or Souzay’s

libera me, listened to in the already sung

crowned house, the music exciting us

just as the sun at the beach would make us

believe in the body, that total reality

in which the water and the air took part;

later someone would say it was a requiem

lacking gravity and not at all austere:

not at all comparable, from that point of view,

to those of Verdi Brahms or Mozart; in

truth, the melody of the agnus dei,

like a wreath, was rippling across our young

smooth skin, and the solo of light in the pie jesu,

pouring forth from Victoria de los Angeles

Suzanna Danco (or some other angel),

would leave behind the nonexistent present

heading towards a vague uncertain hope only

of the body, and free of any other faith:

libera me domine de morte aeterna 







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