GEORGE COLERICK takes a look
at secular and romantic uses of the old Latin hymn
The Grim Reaper was the medieval personification of death, in black cloak and carrying a large scythe. He appears now mainly in comic sketches, but features respectfully in a symbolic chess-playing role in Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal, a film epic of Europe's fourteenth century plague. A revered musical equivalent was for the first time used facetiously in the year 1830. The melody dated back to the thirteenth century, the Dies Irae, giving terrifying warning of the day of wrath, when God will descent to judge all humanity...
Copyright © 31 October 2016 George Colerick,