In observance of Veterans Day 2017, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota presents a program dedicated to the universal longing for world peace. Joining with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota chorus and orchestra will be the Prior Lake High School Concert Choir as part of the Oratorio Society’s Viva Coro! youth engagement program. Featuring Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man and selections from The Peacemakers.
THE ARMED MAN: A Mass for Peace recently celebrated a remarkable 2000 performances worldwide, confirming its status as the most frequently programmed new classical work for choir and orchestra of recent decades. It is a powerful and compelling account of the descent into, and terrible consequences of, war. Dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo crisis, this work is a contemporary example of a mass based on the 15th century French song L’homme armé (The Armed Man). Although set within the framework of the Christian mass, only four of its thirteen movements are traditional Mass elements. The composer uses additional texts from the Qur’an, the Psalms, the Mahàbhàrata, Rudyard Kipling, and Lord Tennyson. This is a major choral work which recognizes what the preamble to the United Nations Charter calls “the scourge of war” as a universal tragedy.
THE PEACEMAKERS (selections), premiered in 2012, the work sets words of peace from iconic, world-changing figures such as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, along with other inspirational quotations of Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Anne Frank and the Dalai Lama. One line from the Persian mystic poet Rumi sums up the ethos of the work: ‘All religions, all singing one song: Peace be with you’.