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The Masterwork Chorus and Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Chris Shepard, will perform War and Peace, a concert pairing Gabriel Fauré’s ethereal Requiem with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ powerful Dona Nobis Pacem, at the Concert Hall at Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ, on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 8 pm.
Shepard says he chose the two pieces because he believes their contrasting musical languages pair well together. He explains, “Fauré wrote his Requiem at the end of the Romantic period, and it is almost uniformly lyrical and comforting–he eliminates the usual terror-inducing Dies Irae depiction of final judgment and instead includes the hauntingly beautiful In Paradisum, usually part of the burial service. In contrast, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ work evokes the horrors of war, incorporating many Civil War scenes described in Walt Whitman’s poetry. Vaughan Williams wrote his cantata in 1936 when the winds of a second world war were already stirring.”
Chris continues, “I want to end our concert with Dona Nobis Pacem because of the spirit of hopefulness it offers at the finale, a reminder of the biblical promise that ‘Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ We haven’t arrived there yet, but like Vaughan Williams, we can remain hopeful!”
Joining Masterwork will be soloists Casandra LaMotte and Malcolm Merriweather. Tickets are $38 for general admission, $25 for patrons under 17, and $55 for Golden Circle seats, which include prime seating and a pre-concert champagne reception. Tickets are available at www.masterwork.org and at the door.
The Masterwork Chorus in performance in the Concert Hall at Drew University.
William Winburn, 2017
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