The New York Choral Society presents A Knee on the Neck, a concert that pairs two cantatas that bring our attention to the devastating pain of injustice and conflict in a program that call us to come together with a collective resolve for justice, freedom, and peace. Featuring the New York premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s new cantata A Knee on the Neck
Fratres (“Brothers”) (arr. for strings) – Arvo Pärt 1989
Dona Nobis Pacem – Ralph Vaughan Williams 1936
Latin for “grant us peace,” a phrase familiar from its use in the traditional Christian Mass. This cantata uses text from the Mass, three poems by Walt Whitman, a political speech, and sections of the Bible. Dona Nobis Pacem serves as a warning against violence and implores us to recall the better angels of our nature.