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  • Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, etc / Bryden Thomson
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Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, etc / Bryden Thomson


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Audio CD, September 30, 1992
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Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, etc / Bryden Thomson + Haydn: Heiligmesse & Mass in Time of War
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 1992)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000AGT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,508 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dona Nobis Pacem: I. Agnus Dei
2. Dona Nobis Pacem: II. Beat! Beat! Drums!
3. Dona Nobis Pacem: III. Reconciliation
4. Dona Nobis Pacem: IV. Dirge For Two Veterans
5. Dona Nobis Pacem: V. The Angel Of Death
6. Dona Nobis Pacem: VI. O Man Greatly Beloved
7. Five Mystical Songs: No. 1: Easter
8. Five Mystical Songs: No. 2: I Got Me Flowers
9. Five Mystical Songs: No. 3: Love Bade Me Welcome
10. Five Mystical Songs: No. 4: The Call
11. Five Mystical Songs: No. 5: Antiphon

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
7%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 14 customer reviews
This piece is one of the most beautiful out there.
"starwars_freak1"
At times simple and profound, slowly twisting into a complex cacophany that will haunt you even after the music stops.
"angeluscarnifex"
It features some of the most vivid poetry from Walt Whitman's "Drum Taps" as well as Biblical texts.
"not-me"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "not-me" on August 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I had the extreme privilege of taking part in the performance of Dona Nobis Pacem at Earlham College some years back, and it remains a strong influence in my life today. There is no orchestral/choral piece I have heard since, including Handel's "Messiah", that has moved me as much.
It features some of the most vivid poetry from Walt Whitman's "Drum Taps" as well as Biblical texts. The flow of the music changes drastically from a lull into repose to loud, curt phrases which make the listener's heart pound at the same beats. If you think I exaggerate, just listen for yourself; particularly "Beat! Beat! Drums!" and "Dirge for Two Veterans".
This particular recording is the only one I have ever found. It is good, but a bit cloudy. However, the talents of Edith Weins (soprano) and Brian Rayner Cook (baritone) are displayed very well.
I don't know much about classical music, but I think to any ear this music is one that cannot easily be forgotten. I would definately love to hear it played more often. Even though it is about the devestation of war, it ends on an uplifting note of hope. I can't say more, you must hear it for yourself.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ralph Vaughan Williams remains an anachronism in music: some dismiss him as a pudgy old pompous British routineer whose time is past (if it ever was); others find the depth of beauty in his music that somehow seems even more pertinent today than it was during his successful career as a composer.

Case in point is DONA NOBIS PACEM a complex work for large orchestra and chorus and soprano and baritone soloists. In 1936 when it was compiled (for it is a mixture of various movements written at different times in Vaughan Williams' life) it had an impact on the Brits as the ominous, dark cloud of War was gradually drifting over the British Isles from Germany. It is a stunning combination of passages from the mass (in title, in the use of the Agnus Dei), from scriptural selections from Jeremiah, Daniel, Psalms etc, and from the Civil War poetry of Walt Whitman.

The effect of this work is more than an oratorio (though some classify it as such). In many ways it relates to the Vaughan Williams 'Sea Symphony' in structure. The emotional effect is more related to the 'War Requiem' of Sir Benjamin Britten. The orchestral and choral writing are solidly in the British tradition and the solos superimposed on the fabric of the combined forces is eloquent and deeply moving. And at a time when the entire world cries out for peace there are few works in music than can equal the impact of this great score. Bryden Thomson conducts the London Philharmonic orchestra and choir and explores all of the intricacies of the piece while keeping a steady eye to the gradual building of the climxes. Both soprano Edith Wiens and baritone Brian Rayner Cook are exemplary soloists.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This recording is one of the best I have found for the Dona Nobis Pacem. The first time I ever heard this, I was in college, where we were preparing to perform it. Even since, with the years that have past and the many additional concerts I have participated in or attended, I cannot remember a more moving experience. This work has left such a lasting impression. I recommend this to anyone who enjoy passionate choral music. The soloist are also excellent on this recording. It is so important for the dramatic Soprano entrances to be defined in the cannon with the choir. It is simply an excellent recording.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "angeluscarnifex" on July 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I also had the pleasure of preforming this piece at Carnegie Hall, NYC in the summer of 2000. 86 pages of what is quite possibly the most difficult choral piece ever written, performance-wise. A wonderfully complex and gripping series, "Dona Nobis Pacem" offers the choral enthusiast a challenge of the highest levels. At times simple and profound, slowly twisting into a complex cacophany that will haunt you even after the music stops. This cd is a must buy, and at this price it is a steal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Steffenhagen on June 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I had the privilege of singing this entire composition a few years ago with our local civic choral group here in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, the UW-L Choral Union, comprised of Univ of Wisconsin-LaCrosse music students and singers from the area population, under the direction of now-retired Dr Paul Rusterholz. With full orchestras, we have sung such glorious music as the Faure' REQUIEM, the Mozart REQUIEM, Carl Orf's CARMINA BURANA and so much more, but Donna Nobis Pacem was truly one of the most challenging and emotionally affecting compositions I have ever experienced. The Whitman segments were so especially moving I could barely keep my composure during the performance. I'm choking up at the memory even as I type this. For choral singers everywhere, Donna Nobis Pacem is a work you don't want to miss.
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Format: Audio CD
Having just performed Dona Nobis Pacem for the second time in my life (last time was 35+ years ago!), I am completely in love with this wonderful choral work. I ordered two different recordings, this one and that with Bryn Terfel. I have to say that I am quite disappointed with the soloists with the exception of Yvonne Kenny on the Hickox recording. I haven't any particular fault with the chorus here, but Brian Rayner Cook has a somewhat unpleasant sound as the baritone soloist, and does a lot of scooping around in a style inappropriate for this music. I fully expected Bryn Terfel to be a large improvement on the Hickox recording, but he hams up everything he sings. This is NOT opera, and I wish both baritones gave themselves more fully to the expression of the composer, and rather less to the development of their careers. Edith Wiens on this Bryden Thomson interpretation is okay at the beginning, but her singing progressively becomes less attractive. I'm still going to be hunting for a better rendition of Dona Nobis Pacem. It's a shame because the orchestra and choir are just fine on both the Thomson and Hickox recordings. As far as the Five Mystical Songs are concerned, I found the baritone so painful to hear that I couldn't get through the piece.
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Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, etc / Bryden Thomson
This item: Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem, etc / Bryden Thomson
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