This week on The Choral Mix, Kent Tritle honors fallen soldiers with a special Memorial Day program. Highlights include works by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Paul Moravec.
Vaughan Williams composed Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace) in 1936 as his musical response to World War I. The text comes from the poignant writings of Walt Whitman, whose poems voiced his sentiments regarding the Civil War. The programmatic score brings to life the events and sounds of war, and the many emotions one experiences. From the boisterous trumpets and percussion depicting bugle and drum corps, to the ethereal vocal writing, the anguish caused by such events is profoundly expressed.
Moravec's Songs of Love and War are settings of letters of American servicemen and their loved ones. Dearest Rowland is based on a letter by Marjorie Gaunt, a wife of a serviceman fighting in World War II. At the time of writing this final testament of love, it was unknown to Marjorie that her beloved Rowland, had recently died in battle. Also from Songs of Love, "Don't Ask" is based on a text by New Yorker, Private George Jay Robinson. Robinson wrote, "Don't ask questions when I come home, if I feel like talking about it, I will, but otherwise, don't ask." Moravec's use of the orchestra throughout this baritone solo intensifies musically the reluctance and pain that Robinson's words allude.
Also on the show are works by Hindemith, Howells and arrangements by Nicholas White.
There Is A Balm in Gilead
The Tiffany Consort and String Ensemble
The Dessoff Choirs
Take him, Earth for Cherishing
Excerpts from Dona nobis pacem
London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult
March, Over the breast of spring from When lilacs last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
The Dessoff Choir