The moment of death

Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s “Dies illa” for Basel

Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s “Dies illa” is about “the proverbial ‘fear of dying’, the moment which will confront us all and which we suppress as best we can throughout our lives”. He composed the choral-symphonic work for the 200th anniversary of the Basler Gesangverein setting a text by Alain Claude Sulzer. In this work for chorus and orchestra, the moment of death is depicted in five verses from different perspectives.  Scartazzini makes reference to the second movement of Brahms’s “Deutsches Requiem”. In this movement, “Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras”, the Swiss composer sees an “almost baroque-like memento mori” which has always captivated him. The premiere on 17 and 19 November 2023 in Basel Cathedral is conducted by Facundo Agudin with the Basler Gesangverein and the Basel Chamber Orchestra.