Dona Nobis Pacem Double Choir

Based on the original accompanied mixed-choir version written for love of Kecskemét and the Kodály Intézet, this extended a cappella version was written at the request of Professor Péter Erdei for the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir for premiere in November 2012, Beijing, China.

Spatial distribution was considered in the conception of this work hence Choir 1 and 2 should be sufficiently apart to make a sonic distinction (e.g. Choir 1 mostly on stage, Choir 2 behind/around the audience).

Db Major is a rich, romantic ‘key of love’ while A major is a bright, sunny key, symbolic of the clear Kecskemét blue skies. Sparkling dissonances, especially in the soprano voices are a metaphor for the sparkling stars that are visible in the Kecskemét night sky. The solo line was originally conceived for a clarinet, in honour of my French housemate Gregory Hérail, who is an amateur clarinetist.

In the first version of this work, a tribute to the Kecskemét Town Hall Bells was written into the piano accompaniment. For this new opus, it is optional to sound a bell-like instrument (e.g. finger cymbal/triangle) on the downbeats of the last 6 bars. To avoid unnecessary ear pains, it is highly recommended that the fundamental pitch of the bell-like instrument be in the vicinity of Db… if not, it is better to omit it altogether.

Albert Tay

10 June 2012

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