Music for Remembrance: Dona Nobis Pacem – Vaughan Williams / Victoria Requiem of 1605 & other works

Thursday, November 10, 2011
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Thursday, 10 November at 7:30 PM

Tickets available at the door for cash or check made out to Saint Thomas Church.  Doors open at 6:30 pm

Dona nobis pacem and
Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus – R. Vaughan Williams
Fear no more the heat o’ the sun ‚Äì G. Finzi
Requiem of 1605 –
T. L. de Victoria 

Dona nobis pacem¬†by Ralph Vaughan Williams sets powerful poetry to intensely expressive music with a refined and assured compositional skill. His texts were the Civil War poetry of Walt Whitman, a speech aiming to prevent the Crimean War by British parliamentarian John Bright, and the Bible (Book of Jeremiah). Overarching all the poetry is the ancient prayer¬†Dona nobis pacem¬†(Give us peace), sung at the beginning and at the end of the work by a lone soprano voice. With powerful lyricism honoring the sacrifice of all who fight for a cause while holding up their common humanity, Vaughan Williams depicts war’s tumult and futility.¬†Dona nobis pacem¬†is paired with¬†Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, a work for harp and strings, which Vaughan Williams composed on commission from the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Jesse Blumberg sings the baritone solo,¬†Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, a deeply moving setting of Shakespeare’s verse from¬†Cymbeline¬†(Act IV, Scene 2), composed by Gerald Finzi, Vaughan Williams’s good friend and younger English contemporary.¬†¬†

The concert’s other major work is the Requiem¬†of 1605 (Officium Defunctorum),¬†a masterpiece of the late Renaissance by Spanish composer, Tom√°s Luis de Victoria. With its restrained and fluent counterpoint, the Requiem is Victoria’s last and greatest work composed for the funeral of the sister of King Philip II of Spain.¬†