KJ (owlmoose) wrote,
KJ
owlmoose

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Concert Week and related thoughts

As it typical for me in the third week of November, it's a concert week, which means I don't have time for much outside work and rehearsal. This year's main piece is one I've done before, "Dona Nobis Pacem" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and it's one of my favorites. This cantata is a setting of several texts, including three poems by Walt Whitman about his experiences as a Civil War nurse ("Beat! Beat! Drums", "Reconciliation", and "Dirge for Two Veterans"), various Biblical passages, and a speech by the British orator John Bright opposing the Crimean War. Vaughan Williams was himself a veteran of the First World War, in which he served as a medic, and he wrote this piece in 1936, with the dark clouds of the Second looming clearly on the horizon. It is a meditation on the horrors of war, and a plea for peace, ending on a note of hope for the future, and I can think of nothing more appropriate to sing right now.

I found this article with some background on Vaughan Williams himself as well as "Dona Nobis Pacem, and a complete recording on YouTube in case you're interested, and my concert is too far away for you to attend. (But if you're local and would like more details, let me know!)

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Tags: current events, mundane, music
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