I first heard the Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem in 1985, soon after it premiered, on a radio show reviewing its first performance at St. Thomas Church in New York. I still remember the darkness and quiet of the winter evening into which broke this extraordinary music like an ageless light. Hearing the Pie Jesu was one of those moments in life that remain etched into the fiber of my consciousness.
Webber’s Requiem has the Pie Jesu combined with the Agnus Dei, following the dramatic Benedictus and a persuasive and ominous repetition of the Dies Irae theme, which makes the devotional beauty of Pie Jesu even more effective.
In 1985, it was sung by Sarah Brightman and the boy soprano Paul Miles-Kingston, and it has been covered many times since. For our Music of the Week, we have selected this special performance by Malakai Bayoh, the new treble star of the classical music world. The extremely talented 13-year-old sang the Pie Jesu during the 2023 Britain’s Got Talent auditions and became one of the finalists. Malakai has wanted to become a singer ever since he joined a choir at the age of seven.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem on Wikipedia
Full Requiem by Andrew Lloyd Webber on YouTube
Pie Jesu sung by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston