Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem

Topics: Crimean War, New Jersey, English-language films Pages: 3 (452 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Vaughan Williams Presentation


Dona Nobis Pacem R.V.W.
40 minute Cantata for chorus cantata and baritone and soprano solo written in 1936 First performance at Huddersfield town hall on October 2, 1936 by Hutterfield Choral Society with the Halle Orchestra conducted by Albert Coates

Choral Cantate based on texts from Whitman, scripture, Catholic Mass, Political speech by John Bright

Text of the piece

Vaughan Williams 1872-1958

64 years old when he composed Dona, Died 22 years later

Had fallen in love with Walt Whitman's poetry with his composition Sea Symphony that he had taken texts from Whitman from.

Walt Whitman

Born May 31, 1819- March 26, 1892 Long Island
Printer, Journalist, reporter, teacher
often criticized by his contemporaries for his strong use of the vernacular AMerican style He was a quintessential american poet who gained great popularity in Great Britain during this time frame Lived through the Crimean War into WWI

He was a nurse in the Crimean War; moral encourager in the War to the troops

Where did it first premiere in the US?
Who were the original soloists?


comes from the last section of the ORDINARY of the Mass
translation is "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace

The opening movement begins with quiet and anguished pleas for peace by the soprano soloist, that is taken up by the chorus in convulsions of anguish and (passion). The movement ends with the soprano soloist fading away quietly, continuing in her plea for peace over muffled percussion warning of pending doom as the percussion connects us to the 2nd movement.


Taken from Whitman's poem Beat Beat Drums…(get more info) which describes the brutality and ruthlessness of war on society. The composer captures the clashes of war through the extensive use of brass, percussion, and a harmonic language that utilizes parallel force to underpin the tragedy of battle.

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