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Dona Nobis Pacem/Grant Us Peace
Composed by Paul Gibson
Series Editor: Paul Salamunovich
Voicing: SSA a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0638
Peace. We all seem to want it, yet it seems so difficult to achieve. We desire so many different forms of peace, both within us and around us. But the obstacles to peace seem so numerous, complex, and unrelenting, it' s easy to wonder if it can ever be achieved.
Reflections of this kind were very much a part of the creation of this piece. When the Los Angeles Children' s Chorus commissioned a Dona nobis pacem, I certainly did not expect the piece to be as rhythmic, syncopated, challenging and energetic as it turned out to be. But my desire to express the contradictions inherent in our search for peace took me down a different road. Ultimately, I wanted the exuberant mix of hope and ardent desire for peace that we experience in children' s hearts to become the dominant force of the work.
During the rehearsal process, I had the chance to meet with the children a couple of times. Their penetrating and insightful questions added a further dimension to my understanding of the piece. They spoke of their initial resistance because it seemed so difficult to learn, but that how they came to realize that the process of learning it was analogous to the fact that peace is not easily achieved. They recounted how learning to master their parts required them to trust their fellow singers as never before, which led to a strengthening of the bond they felt with each other. And they expressed great pride and joy in their eventual accomplishment. I owe them a great debt of gratitude for how much they enriched my own experience of the genesis of “Dona nobis pacem/Grant Us Peace.”
performance by Los Angeles Children's Chorus
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