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Pacem (flex)

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Robert Spittal

Robert Spittal

Subtitle: A Hymn for Peace. For Adaptable Ensemble in Five Parts

General Info

Year: 2005 / 2020
Duration: c. 4:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Robert Spittal
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $35.00

Instrumentation (Adaptable Band)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • E-flat Soprano Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet

Part 2

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Soprano Saxophone
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet

Part 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • Horn in F

Part 4

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Horn in F

Part 5

  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba

Timpani (optional)
Percussion (optional), including:

  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

As is the case with most of my compositions, I wrote Pacem – A Hymn for Peace for a friend who also happens to be a musician. The work was composed for Patrick Brooks and his wind ensemble at Idaho State University. The thematic structures of the piece are based on the second movement of my Consort for Ten Winds, which impressed at a chamber recording session I led in 1999. I intended Consort to be a contemporary reflection of older music, and for the second movement to reflect the beautiful, imitative motet style of the Renaissance composers I admire, such as Josquin Des Prez and Palestrina. While many of the stylistic and inherently lyrical elements of Consort are retained in Pacem (the title in Latin for "peace"), the large-scale instrumental forces of the symphonic wind ensemble presented opportunities to expand the music proportions of Pacem. Rather than simply an "arrangement" of the earlier chamber work. Pacem became an original piece unto itself. The musical propositions of Pacem range from the introspective to the epic, reflecting the scope of humanity's persistent, hopeful and often difficult struggle toward the realization of personal and universal peace.

Pacem is a musical expression of humankind’s desire for universal peace among all people, as well as the personal peace that comes from within. “Pacem” is the Latin word for “peace.” The choice of Latin is significant for two reasons: 1) as a kind of tribute to the Franco-Flemish Renaissance composers, whose music strongly influenced this work, and 2) as a symbol of the universality of humankind’s desire for peace –- a collective desire that cuts across geographic, religious, ethnic, historical, or other boundaries. The reflective, more peaceful moments in the work represent our hope for personal peace. The stronger, maestoso statements of the main theme convey a hopeful optimism for the realization of peace among all people. Other statements are more conflicted and ambiguous and remind us that achieving universal peace requires persistence and struggle, and that it remains an unrealized challenge in the world.

- Program Note by composer

Performance Notes

By successfully rehearsing and performing Pacem, students will…

  • Be motivated to explore techniques, feelings and ideas required for them to demonstrate a wide range of expression on their instrument, and with others in the ensemble
  • be inspired to make critical musical and interpretive decisions regarding expressive rhythm, phrasing and the contours of lines
  • be introduced to the workings of mixed meter in a slow, expressive work *have the opportunity to make connections to musical techniques and ideas of the past, such as imitative counterpoint, thematic development, and the aesthetics of early music.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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