The centrepiece of Collegium Musicum of London’s summer concert, commemorating the end of World War One, is Vaughan Williams’s impassioned plea for peace Dona nobis pacem. The composer wrote the cantata in 1936 amid fears that a new global conflict was looming. It takes the form of six movements, with the poetry of Walt Whitman – as well as passages from both the Mass and the Bible – providing the text. The phrase Dona nobis pacem (‘Give us peace’) punctuates the entire work.
Soloists Augusta Hebbert (soprano) and Michael Hickman (baritone) will appear alongside actor Brendan Charleson (right), in an evening of choral music and readings to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in 1918.
By coincidence, the same year saw the death of C. Hubert Parry, whose visionary work My Soul, There Is A Country, from the Songs of Farewell cycle, will feature in the programme.
Also included in the concert is the work of one of England’s most popular early-20th-century composers, George Butterworth, whose short life was curtailed by a sniper’s bullet on the Somme in 1916. His rhapsodic setting of A.E. Housman’s exquisite collection of verses A Shropshire Lad will be performed by Michael Hickman, accompanied by Andrew Tait on piano.
With a sprinkling of popular songs from the era, alongside heartrending dispatches from the trenches, Dona nobis pacem promises to be a poignant and fitting tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.
CML, under the expert direction of conductor Greg Morris, is one of the capital’s leading chamber choirs. After its performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers in 2017, the ensemble was described by music critic Roger Scruton as having ‘set a benchmark’ for the work.
Saturday June 16th 2018
London WC2H 9DY
…and the rest of 2018…
A concert of favourite tunes chosen by the choir
October 4, Grand Entrance Hall, Brunel Museum, Rotherhithe
December 14, Temple Church, London EC4