Movement 8

Movement 8: Sinfonia – Kyrie

Theme: Mercy


Kyrie eleison.
Help us.
Rescue us from this hell.
We must be brave and trust in God.
Translation: (from Latin) Lord have mercy


How difficult is it to ask someone for forgiveness or help? Is it easier or more difficult to ask for forgiveness than to actually forgive someone?

Theme in other Musical Examples:

Duffy – Marcy:

The Culture Club – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me:

Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness:

Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World:

Bridge Concept:

What kind of thoughts go into making decisions such as to ask for forgiveness or to have mercy? What would make you deny forgiveness? Does asking for help mean possessing weakness?

Examining the Theme and Historical Context through the Text/Music:

Throughout history, the Kyrie has been used in the Catholic Mass as a time for the congregation to beg God for Mercy. This is the only part of the Liturgy that remains in the original Greek. This movement is primarily instrumental, but the entirety of it is ironic because the Kyrie is a part of the Catholic Mass, while Anne and her family were being persecuted because they were Jewish.

This movement begins with a beautiful haunting violin melody, reminiscent of the theme from Schindler’s List. The vocal melody of this movement is beautiful and soaring over a piano accompaniment; the sopranos lead the way with a moving line, supported by the lower voices. This movement stands apart from the rest of the piece, being primarily instrumental, and without a large emphasis on one specific entry from Anne’s diary.

There are two sections to the text, the Greek from the Mass, and Anne’s words. Anne’s words include a plea to God to rescue them from their terror and misery, followed by a resolve that they must be brave, and trust that God will either rescue them, or be waiting for them in Heaven. This line, “we must be brave and trust in God,” a quote from a previous movement, continues the theme of bravery in the face of terror, this time, in the context of asking for help.

Connecting Concepts and Context:

Historical Musical Examples of Kyries:

Verdi Requiem:

Beethoven Missa Solemnis:


 Next: Movement 9