Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace)
& Franz Joseph Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Mass for Troubled Times)
Concluding Ars Musica’s season on Friday, June 2, at 8 p.m. are Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace) and Franz Joseph Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Mass for Troubled Times). In Dona Nobis Pacem, Vaughan Williams produces his plea for peace by referring to recent wars amid growing fears of a new one. This cantata — commissioned and first performed in 1936 as World War II loomed — includes texts taken from the Latin Mass, poems by Walt Whitman, anti-war political speech, and sections of the Bible. Haydn’s Missa in Augustiis, also penned during times of war, premiered in 1798 as Napoleon continued his advance across the mediterranean. The piece is one of six masses written near the end of his life which are seen as a culmination of his liturgical composition. Haydn’s chief biographer, H. C. Robbins Landon, claims it “is arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition”. Ars Musica’s 80-voice chorus is joined by the award-winning Adelphi Orchestra for this double-bill of two of music history’s greatest hits.
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