Invocation for Peace for boys' voices, two trumpets and two trombones to words by Camilla Jessel, 1972, 8'

- version for chorus or five voices a cappella, 6'

Invocation for Peace was commissioned by the Southampton Youth Choir and Orchestra. It is not an entirely new composition, because the composer used in it the choral part – rejected over ten years earlier – of his withdrawn Symphony of Peace. The musical material of this part – written, in accordance with the dictates of socialist realism, in a simple language that was to emphasise the meaning of the text (originally a poem by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz) – turned out to be very useful in composing a work for young players. Panufnik only needed to find a new, English text and adapt the music for trebles and four wind instruments. The new text was written by the composer’s wife, Camilla Jessel, and this is how Invocation for Peace came to be written. The work refers to the idea of peace in the world – idea that remained close to the composer’s heart, despite the fact that he realised how greatly it had been distorted by communism. Panufnik’s works dedicated to peace (Universal Prayer, Invocation for Peace, Procession for Peace) show that the topic was very close to him and that he tried to express his feelings about it in music that was spiritual, often almost religious.  

Invocation for Peace was performed for the first time in Southampton, on 28 November 1972, by the Southampton Youth Choir and Orchestra conducted by Peter Davis.