The baritone soloist sings the first section alone. On a bass in an ostinato rhythm of two quarter notes, a rest and the upbeat to the next two quarters, he sings the text "Libera me ...", embarking on a melody of wide range, with some sharp leaps. The text is continued by the choir in four parts in homophony: "Tremens factus sum ego". In more motion, "Dies irae" is expressed by fortissimo chords, giving way to the prayer for rest in the same motion, but piano, with a crescendo on "dona eis, Domina".
The words words “Domine Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine”.are sung by both the soprano and the tenor incorporating the BACH motif 3 times:
The soprano sings: A-flat G B-flat A, B-flat A C B, C B D C-sharp
The tenor sings: C B D C-sharp, D C-sharp E D, E D-sharp F-sharp E
in parallel sixths.
The singing is suddenly softening on a last "et lux perpetua luceat eis". Then the choir repeats the opening statement of the baritone fully in unison. Soloist, then choir, end the movement softly, repeating "Libera me, Domine".
Libera me, Domine,
de morte aeterna,
in die illa tremenda
Quando caeli movendi sunt et terra
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem
Tremens factus sum ego, et timeo,.
dum discussio venerit,
atque ventura ira.
Dies illa, dies irae,
calamitatis et miseriae,
dies magna et amara valde.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Free me, Lord,
from eternal death,
on that day of dread,
when the heavens and earth shall move,
when you shall come to judge the world by fire.
I am made to tremble, and to fear,
when destruction shall come,
and also your coming wrath.
O that day, that day of wrath,
of calamity and misery,
the great and exceedingly bitter day.
Grant eternal rest to them, Lord,
and let perpetual light shine on them.