The Lethal Requiem


28/10/22 at St Mary-At-Hill, London

What would it be like to write your own requiem? Mozart was convinced he would die before finishing his Requiem… and he did! You too can tempt fate and listen to Mozart’s spine-tingling notes in a bewitching performance by the German Choir of London. If this isn’t scary enough, the Requiem will be interspersed with premieres of supernatural choral pieces. Plus you might even meet a ghost…


Requiem: I. Introit

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Requiem aeternam dona eis,
Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam,
ad te omnis care veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona eis,
Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.
You are praised, God, in Zion,
and homage will be paid to You in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer,
to You all flesh will come.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them

Requiem: II. Kyrie

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

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

Requiem: III. Sequence, Dies Irae

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Dies irae, dies illa
Solvet saeclum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando judex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!

Day of wrath, day of anger
will dissolve the world in ashes,
as foretold by David and the Sibyl.
Great trembling there will be
when the Judge descends from heaven
to examine all things closely.


Modest Mussorgsky, arr. Barbara Höfling

Still is the forest, no soul is in sight.
Winds are lamenting and howling
far away yonder, where dark falls the night,
something uncanny is prowling.
See! Over there, where the shades gather black,
death has embraced a poor peasant,
luring invites him to dance the Trepak.
Round’n round’n round’n round….
Sings him a song fair and pleasant:
Ho, my poor peasant so bent and grey,
drunken with Vodka and wandering astray,
but the wretched blizzard lead you in the shadows
through the pathless forest, o’er the trackless meadows.
What is your portion but work and sorrow?
Rest here, poor peasant until tomorrow.
I will weave a blanket warm and soft, a cover.
Rest and sleep, my darling, snow will warm you gently.
Storm! Sing a song of the vicious tempest.
Frost! Start a dance of the swirling snowflakes,
sing a charming hushsong, sweet lullaby,
let the weary peasant sleep till morning light.
Agony, agony, agony…
Forests and fields and gloomy shadows,
darkness and dread, despair and sorrows,
snowflakes lightly hov’ring
weave a flawless cov’ring,
wrap the wretched drunkard in a shimm’ring blanket.
Agony, agony, agony…
Sleep now, my friend, sleep long and sound,
dream now of summer in bloom.
Dance the Trepak, Trepak, Trepak…
Round’n round’n round’n round….

The sun is laughing over cornfields and the air is sweet.
Nightingales are singing and the sky is blue.
Dance the Trepak, Trepak, Trepak….

Requiem: III. Sequence, Tuba Mirum B-Dur

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum
Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
judicanti responsura.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.
Judex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet, apparebit,
nil inultum remanebit
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus,
cum vix justus sit securus?

The trumpet will send its wondrous sound
throughout earth’s sepulchres
and gather all before the throne.
Death and nature will be astounded,
when all creation rises again,
to answer the judgement.
A book will be brought forth,
in which all will be written,
by which the world will be judged.
When the judge takes his place,
what is hidden will be revealed,
nothing will remain unavenged.
What shall a wretch like me say?
Who shall intercede for me,
when the just ones need mercy?

Requiem: III. Sequence, Rex tremendae

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Rex tremendae majestatis,
qui salvandos savas gratis,
salve me, fons pietatis.

King of tremendous majesty,
who freely saves those worthy ones,
save me, source of mercy.

Unruhige Träume (Restless Dreams)

Music: Ian Stephens, Words: Franz Kafka

Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens
aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte,
fand er sich in seinem Bett
zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt.
Er lag auf seinem panzerartig harten Rücken.
Wenn er den Kopf ein wenig hob,
sah er seinen gewölbten, braunen Bauch.
Seine vielen kläglich dünnen Beine
flimmerten ihm hilflos vor den Augen.
“Was ist mit mir geschehen?
Das ist kein Traum. Wie wäre es,
wenn ich noch ein wenig weiterschliefe
und alle Narrheiten vergäße?”
Er versuchte, sich auf die rechte Seite zu werfen,
schaukelte aber immer wieder
in die Rückenlage zurück.
“Der Teufel soll das alles holen.”

One morning, when Gregor Samsa
awoke from restless dreams, he found,
lying in his bed, that he had
metamorphosed into a monstrous cockroach.
He lay on his hard, armoured back.
When he lifted his head a little,
he saw his brown, dome-like stomach.
His many painfully thin legs
shimmered helpless before his eyes.
“What’s happened to me?
This is not a dream. How about
if I sleep on a little and forget
about all the craziness?”
He tried to throw himself onto his right side,
but kept rocking back
to the same position.
“To hell with it!”


Music: Donna McKevitt, Poem: Jan Noble

It will not call you from your sleep
Or haunt the creeping midnight halls
With ivy cries.
It will not scratch the cellar floor
Or hang its whispers in the eves of your cracked house.
It won’t disturb the dust
Or blow low curtains into empty rooms lit by the moon
Or rise on moors made mad with rain
Where scattered bones are pecked by crows blind as bibles.
Not measured there in entrails wrapped round knotted trees
In dark door woods alive with voices.
No, it will come in sunlight
Last a season
Transmit its fever with a kiss
And leave.

Die Nacht

Richard Strauss, arr. Barbara Höfling

Aus dem Walde tritt die Nacht,
Aus den Bäumen schleicht sie leise,
Schaut sich um in weitem Kreise,
Nun gib Acht!
Alle Lichter dieser Welt,
Alle Blumen, alle Farben
Löscht sie aus und stiehlt die Garben
Weg vom Feld.
Alles nimmt sie, was nur hold,
Nimmt das Silber weg des Stroms
Nimmt vom Kupferdach des Doms
Weg das Gold.
Ausgeplündert steht der Strauch:
Rücke näher, Seel’ an Seele,
O die Nacht, mir bangt, sie stehle
Dich mir auch.

Night steps from the woods,
Slips softly from the trees,
Gazes about her in a wide arc,
Now beware!
All the lights of this world,
All the flowers, all the colours
She extinguishes and steals the sheaves
From the field.
She takes all that is fair,
Takes the silver from the stream,
Takes from the cathedral’s copper roof
The gold.
The bush stands plundered:
Draw closer, soul to soul,
Ah the night, I fear, will steal
You too from me.

Requiem: III. Sequence, Recordare

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Recordare, Jesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae;
ne me perdas illa die.
Quaerens me, sedisti lassus,
redemisti crucem passus;
tantus labor non sit cassus.
Juste judex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus;
supplicanti parce, Deus.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
Preces meae non sunt dignae,
sed tu, bonus, fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
Inter oves locum praesta,
Et ab haedis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextra.

Remember, kind Jesus,
my salvation caused your suffering;
do not forsake me on that day.
Faint and weary you have sought me,
redeemed me, suffering on the cross;
may such great effort not be in vain.
Righteous judge of vengeance,
grant me the gift of absolution
before the day of retribution.
I moan as one who is guilty:
owning my shame with a red face;
suppliant before you, Lord.
You, who absolved Mary,
and listened to the thief,
give me hope also.
My prayers are unworthy,
but, good Lord, have mercy,
and rescue me from eternal fire.
Provide me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
guiding me to Your right hand.

Requiem: III. Sequence, Confutatis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis,
voca me cum benedictus.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis,
gere curam mei finis.

When the accused are confounded,
and doomed to flames of woe,
call me among the blessed.
I kneel with submissive heart,
my contrition is like ashes,
help me in my final condition.

Requiem: III. Sequence, Lacrimosa

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla
judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus,
pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen

That day of tears and mourning,
when from the ashes shall arise,
all humanity to be judged.
Spare us by your mercy, Lord,
gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest. Amen.

Fear No More

Music: Michael Cryne, Words: William Shakespeare

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!

Requiem: IV. Offertory, Domine Jesu Christe

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae,
libera animas omnium fidelium
defunctorum de poenis inferni
et de profundo lacu.
Libera eas de ore leonis,
ne absorbeat eas tartarus,
ne cadant in obscurum.
Sed signifer sanctus Michael
repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam.
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
et semini ejus.

Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory,
liberate the souls of the faithful,
departed from the pains of hell
and from the bottomless pit.
Deliver them from the lion’s mouth,
lest hell swallow them up,
lest they fall into darkness.
Let the standard-bearer, holy Michael,
bring them into holy light.
Which was promised to Abraham
and his descendants.

Requiem: IV. Offertory, Hostias

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine,
laudis offerimus.
Tu sucipe pro animabus illis,
quaram hodie memoriam facimus.
Fac eas, Domine,
de morte transire ad vitam,
Quam olim Abrahae promisisti
et semini ejus

Sacrifices and prayers of praise, Lord,
we offer to You.
Receive them in behalf of those souls
we commemorate today.
And let them, Lord,
pass from death to life,
which was promised to Abraham
and his descendants.

Requiem: VI. Communio, Lux aeterna

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine,
et Lux perpetua luceat eis,
cum Sanctus tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.

Let eternal light shine on them, Lord,
as with Your saints in eternity,
because You are merciful.
Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them,
as with Your saints in eternity,
because You are merciful.


Barbara Höfling – Musical Director

I believe in the power of music to move people, to create communities beyond perceived borders, to create a better world in the here and now. Music speaks to us in our own language, in our own emotion and this with a clarity and urgency that reaches beyond words. To create a group in harmony, teach them to sing!

I studied violin, singing and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover. Soon afterwards I discovered my passion for choral music. I sang with some of the most amazing choirs and ensembles in the world: RIAS Chamber Choir, BBC Singers, Berlin Radio Choir, Hamburg Radio Choir, Monteverdi Choir, London Voices to name just a few. The experience I gained from that is what I love passing on to singers in my choirs, but also virtually all over the world.

Douglas Tang – Organist

Douglas Tang is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation. He is currently engaged as a conductor, keyboardist and coach – working with professional and amateur musicians of all ages and walks of life. He is the Choral Director of the Vielklang Festival in Tuebingen Germany, Artistic Director of ExCollegium, Music Director of ArchiCantiores and organ consultant to many of the premier churches in London. He is also associate conductor and keyboardist of the Choralies Festival in France, the Wimbledon Academy Choir, and the Thomas Tallis Society. Previously Assistant Director of Music of St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney and Chapel Organist of the Old Royal Naval College Greenwich, he has also most notably held the prestigious post of Organ Scholar of King’s College, Cambridge. He teaches and coaches at most of the London conservatoires and used to work within the opera department at the Royal Academy of Music.

Catherine Addy – Actress

Catherine trained at Guildford School of Acting, graduating in 2021. Most recently she has been at the Royal Opera House as an ensemble actor in Don Giovanni, there falling in love with the wonders of Mozart. She’s very excited to be part of the German Choir’s production this evening, bringing some of the legend of Mozart’s Requiem to life.

Isla MacEwan – Soprano

Isla MacEwan recently graduated with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. An accomplished oratorio singer and a Josephine Baker Trust Scholar, Isla has sung as a soloist in Bach’s Johannes-Passion under Philippe Herreweghe as well as Händel’s Messiah with the Manchester Camerata and Nevill Holt Opera. On the opera stage, solo roles include First Witch Dido and Aeneas with Royal Academy Opera, Susanna The Marriage of Figaro with Flatpack Opera and Governess The Turn of the Screw with Leeds Youth Opera. Recent chorus roles include La Bohème with Nevill Holt Opera, Falstaff with the LPO and European Opera Centre, L’elisir d’amore with West Green House Opera and Fidelio at the Edinburgh International Festival. In recital, Isla has performed in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Recital Hall, Bradford Cathedral and Rekstensamlingene Recital Hall in Bergen, Norway. In her spare time, Isla enjoys making ramen, practising yoga and reading mystery novels!

Bernadette Johns – Alto

British-French mezzo-soprano Bernadette Johns made her debut as the titular role in Carmen at Longborough Festival Opera 2022. She is a recent graduate of Royal Academy Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was a finalist in the 2022 Bicentenary Prize at Wigmore Hall, prizewinner in the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award and Joan Chissell Schumann Prize, and a member of the Academy Song Circle. Opera roles include Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Concepción in L’heure espagnole, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Tirinto in Imeneo, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Spell for Sex in Spell Book and Jane in the world premiere of WITCH by Waley-Cohen, Second Lady in La liberazione di Ruggiero by Francesca Caccini and Cover Dorabella in Così fan tutte. Concert highlights include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, Leeds Lieder Festival and the Leeds International Concert Series. She was selected as a Momentum Artist in 2021, and a Leeds Lieder Young Artist in 2020, both with pianist Alexandra Standing. Bernadette was a Bach Scholar for the 2019 ‘Bach the European’ concert series, performing as alto soloist in multiple concerts directed by Trevor Pinnock, Rachel Podger, Philippe Herreweghe, Masaaki Suzuki, John Butt and Iain Ledingham. Upcoming engagements include Mozart Solemn Vespers, Vivaldi Gloria and Bach BWV70 with South Bucks Choral Society, performances of Handel Messiah with Eboracum Baroque and the Nevill Holt Opera Winter Festival, and covering the title role in Handel Arminio for the Jetter Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House in Spring 2023.

Ruairi Bowen – Tenor

A finalist in the International Handel Singing Competition in 2020, Ruairi Bowen is much in demand as an interpreter of Baroque repertoire in the UK and abroad, collaborating with some of the leading conductors in the field including Emmanuelle Haïm, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Stephen Layton. An experienced Evangelist of J.S. Bach’s Passions, he made his debuts at Bachfest Leipzig and Snape Maltings with Solomon’s Knot, with whom he most recently sang Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium at London’s Wigmore Hall. Other engagements have included Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the St John Passion with both the Adelaide & Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, as well as for the annual Good Friday performance with Polyphony and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Stephen Layton. ​

He also sang in the world premiere & recording of Stanford’s Mass Via Victrix with the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales and Adrian Partington Dvorak Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Three Choirs Festival, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Worcester Cathedral, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Ben Palmer/Covent Garden Sinfonia and Vaughan Williams’ A Cotswold Romance with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, and he will sing Verdi’s Messa da Requiem  for the first time next year. Opera performances include Prologue/Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at Barnes Music Festival and multiple roles in Purcell’s The Indian Queen with Le Concert d’Astrée at l’Opera de Lille. He returned to Barnes Music Festival to sing Satvayān in Holst’s Savitri and featured in Sivan Eldar’s Like Flesh at Opéra national de Montpellier. He is an Emerging Artist for Longborough Festival Opera 2022 singing Vistola Fiume in F. Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola di Alcina and will reprise The Indian Queen in Caen, Antwerp and Luxembourg during the 2022 / 2023 season.

A graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, Ruairi was invited to sing on Proud Songsters, an album of English Solo Song recorded with pianist Simon Lepper, featuring distinguished former members of the world-famous chapel choir. Song recitals include a performances of Tippett’s Cantata Boyhood’s End and Finzi’s A Young Man’s Exhortation with Anna Tilbrook and Monteverdi Songs of Court directed by Michael Chance. During the live music hiatus in 2020/21, Ruairi was a Support Worker for the Children’s Section of the British Refugee Council, and formed part of The Hampstead Collective, an ensemble dedicated to performing Handel Oratorio and Bach’s sacred works.

Geoff Clapham – Bass

Geoff began his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral. After a very protracted voice break, more slow slide than sudden severance, he became a choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read music. After many years in the wilderness, he has just begun his second year of study in earnest at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Geoff currently sings the role of Scarpia in Opera Loki’s production of Tosca, which has toured France and England this summer. He also recently birthed a role for Waste Paper Opera’s original new work, Dead Cat Bounce, which premiered at Somerset House in July. Geoff looks forward to giving his first Deutches Requiem and first Messiah later in the year. 

The German Choir of London

The German Choir of London, founded in 2009, has established itself as one of London´s leading amateur choirs. In a sociable, friendly atmosphere, we perfect classical German choral masterpieces such as Brahms´ German Requiem and Orff´s Carmina Burana, as well as contemporary music and commissions from composers around the globe.

The choir has performed in some amazing venues around London, and in Paris, Brussels and Rome. Our projects often involve collaborations with cultural institutions and explore topics and themes of social or historical importance – we make music with meaning.


Join us afterwards for an Afterglow party at:

The Bunch of Grapes

14 Lime Street London EC3M 7AN