From the Composer
by Bryan Grosbach
In a world that is today continually assailed by tragedies and chaos, there is a desperate cry for peace resounding from every corner of the globe.
The text, “Dona Nobis Pacem,” is a phrase found in the Catholic Mass at the end of the ‘Agnus Dei’ section. This phrase, in Latin, translates into “Grant Us Peace.” Although this text is most commonly known through the popular hymn sung often in canon, throughout time various composers have set it regularly, often when the threat of war or destruction was imminent or had already devastated the land and its peoples. My own setting of this text follows that similar plea, seeing all of the trials we face on a daily basis from attacks on elementary schools to the misery wrought from the Caribbean to the Carolinas by Hurricane Matthews.
“Dona Nobis Pacem” uses two choirs, and is sung antiphonally (facing each other from a distance, creating a collision of sound in the middle of the two groups) to represent the cry for peace echoing from around the world. The “Dona Nobis Pacem” text is interrupted in the middle of the work by the rest of the Agnus Dei script, which translates to “Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world…” followed again by the Dona Nobis Pacem phrase “…grant us peace.”
Special thanks goes to Taylor Martin and the Denver Pro Chorale, for once again championing one of my works. I hope that through listening to this piece premiered beautifully by the DPC, you are able to –if only for a moment –find peace in your own life, and the strength to move forward through the pain and destruction we now face daily.”