Dona Nobis Pacem

by Scott Ordway

2011; 4 minutes 30 seconds
Commissioned by WordSong for the Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer, director
Studio recording, Boston, May 2011

Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble commissioned Dona Nobis Pacem in 2011. The request came during a year when I was simultaneously composing two full settings of the mass for chorus and orchestra; as such, this was my third “Dona Nobis” setting that year and I wanted to do something a bit different. I broke this short, iconic text into its constituent syllables: do, na, no, bis, pa, & cem and explored their purely sonic, non-syntactic power. At the same time, I designed music that embodies the struggle to create peace as the text itself is gradually reconstructed. Beth Willer and the Lorelei Ensemble made this studio recording in May 2011.

Performance history:

11 September 2011 Broadcast on WGBH Boston, 9/11 Memorial Concert
Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer

15 May 2011 First Church, Boston MA
Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer

14 May 2011 Private home, Jamaica Plain MA
Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer

13 May 2011 (premiere) Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport MA
Lorelei Ensemble, Beth Willer