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By Jacob Stockinger
The Ear has received the following word about a very timely performance of a very timely work:
On this Sunday, March 20, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. the Society Choir of First Unitarian Society of Madison will present the powerful anti-war cantata, “Dona Nobis Pacem” or Grant Us Peace, by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (below). Vaughan Williams used texts from the Bible and from the Civil War poems by the American poet Walt Whitman.
You can hear a section of the work in the YouTube video at the bottom.
Guest soloists are soprano Heather Thorpe (below top) and UW-Madison baritone Paul Rowe (below bottom).
Violinist and retired UW-Madison violin professor and Madison Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Tyrone Greive (below top, in a photo by Katherine Esposito) will lead the string section, which will be joined by organ, piano, harp and timpani. First Unitarian Society Music Director Dan Broner (below bottom) will conduct.
The performances will take place in the Society’s modern Atrium Auditorium (below in a photo by Zane Williams), 900 University Bay Drive.
Admission is FREE. Donations will be accepted.
In conjunction with the performance there will be a small exhibit of German art in the Commons. It will feature anti-war artwork from the period after World War I.
Several prints of lithographs, drawings and sculpture by Kathe Kollwitz, Ernst Barlach and Otto Dix from the years 1921-1929 will be included. The images by Kollwitz are from her “Krieg Cycle.” Her son had been killed in the war; Barlach and Dix both had fought in the war. The two sculptures by Barlach were actually commissioned as war memorials, but instead of glorifying war they express his stark protest and grief.