Compofactur MusikVerlag is publishing Matthias Spindler’s Dona nobis pacem Meditation for piano (or organ), bell plates, double choir (SATB/SATB) and strings.

Peace on earth is an ancient human aspiration, sadly all too seldom observed in practice. The war in Ukraine has once again reminded us of the importance of peace for all humanity. This new work, which lasts around fifteen minutes, seeks to underscore this message by musical means: repeated but never identical patterns, antiphonal writing involving individual choral groupings in the most varied combinations and the use of bell plates are the hallmarks of a work that is bound to leave a deep and lasting impression on its audiences.

As the title indicates, the piece is cast in the form of a meditation whose impact is felt in time and space. Among musical influences, Gregorian chant and Venetian-style polyphony can be heard, alongside the contemporary device of repetitive patterns in the spirit of ‘mystic minimalism’, together with a hint of neo-classical music.

A particular role is played in this work by spatial considerations. The choral forces are divided into two chamber choirs, positioned in front of and behind the audience, ideally both on raised platforms. The orchestra itself comprises piano, bell plates and strings and is placed in front of the audience, all of which creates a spatial effect normally only achieved by 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and Immersive Audio.

The composer is eager to ensure that his music and its message are communicated in a spatial and physical sense. The appeal to God “Dona nobis pacem” (give us peace) from the Agnus Dei of the Latin Mass text is intoned by individual choral groups and reaches listeners from different directions. Only at the end do both choirs come together, thus prefiguring the hoped-for peace agreement in a musical sense. Here the bells serve as a kind of wake-up call, while also providing a sense of dynamic contrast with the ethereal sounds heard elsewhere.

 


Composer: Spindler, Matthias (*1963)
Opus: Dona nobis pacem Meditation (2022) – First Edition
Scoring: Pno (or Org) – Bell Pl – Double Choir (SATB/SATB) – Str
Duration: 15:00