for mixed voices (SAATTB with divisi) a cappella
Text: Latin (6th/7th century antiphon for peace)
Duration: c4 minutes
Da pacem Domine (‘Give peace in our time, O Lord’) is a message that sits at the very heart of faith itself, suitable for any and all liturgical occasions. This setting was born out of the composer’s need to find solace during a period of deep grief. The simplicity of the antiphon’s Latin syntax, particularly the way the alliterative ‘pacem’ (peace) and ‘pugnet’ ([who] fights) draws attention to the synonymity of these opposing forces, became the basis for the gentle, ethereal mood of this setting. Alternating added-note chords rock back and forth like a lullaby, underpinned by a series of sustained, bass pedal points which recur throughout, reassuring and affirming. The central section’s upward, struggling ‘qui pugnet’ phrases hold no real aggression, but give way to yearning, lamentation figures that contrapuntally cascade to lower registers, before resigning to the calm, homophonic stasis of the final section. An exciting and passionate addition to the Latin motet repertoire for intermediate choirs.
Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris
quia non est alius
qui pugnet pro nobis,
nisi tu Deus noster.
Give peace in our time, O Lord
because there is no other
that fighteth for us,
but only you, our God.
Randle studied with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Richard Causton at Cambridge University, where she also sang with Trinity College Choir. Her music (which includes three chamber operas, one in association with Royal Opera House) has been performed throughout the UK, Europe and the US by artists and ensembles including Britten Sinfonia, Heath Quartet, Sarah Connolly, the choirs of King’s and Trinity colleges, Cambridge and Christ Church, Oxford; recorded by the BBC Singers; released on Resonus Classics and Regent Records, and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. She was a finalist in the NCEM Composer Award, has been commissioned by Choir & Organ for its New Music Series, and is Composer-in-Residence at St Michael’s, Cornhill in the City of London. Commissions in that role include memoria for choir and erhu; A Winter Rose, a carol involving alphorns; and works for the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. Rhiannon combines a busy composing schedule with singing, teaching on the academic staff at Guildhall School, and supervising at Cambridge University.