Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (1996-1998) for soprano and 15 instruments, the last work of the French composer Gerard Grisey, is a masterpiece. It is a four-part meditation about death – the death of an angel, civilization, voice and humankind. Its premiere took place in 1999. Although the songs were written after the passing away of the composer’s mother, it is difficult not to associate them with his own death. The texts originate in four various epochs and cultures: Christian, Egyptian, Greek and Mesopotamian. Song I is a reflection upon a dying angel from the poem Les heures de la nuit by Christian Guez Ricord. Song II takes the form of a litany and was written to fragments of inscriptions on an Egyptian sarcophagus. Song III is set to a verse by the Greek poet Erinna (6 BC). Song IV is based on fragments of the Epic of Gilgamesh, describing the calamity and destruction of the world. The Epilogue, in the form of a lullaby, brings calmness and stands for a new beginning.