Cantabile presents Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 1936 cantata Dona Nobis Pacem for chorus and orchestra. Written between the two World Wars, with texts from three poems by Walt Whitman, the Bible, and the Catholic Mass, Dona Nobis Pacem is a powerful and moving plea for peace.
Word over all, beautiful as the sky,
Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost,
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again
and ever again, this soiled world;
For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead,
I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin – I draw near,
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.