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Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Lawrence Schwartz (born March 6, 1948) is a Jewish-American musical theatre lyricist and composer. In a career spanning over five decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972), and Wicked (2003). He has contributed lyrics to a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Prince of Egypt (1998, music and lyrics), and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has earned numerous accolades including three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and a Golden Globe Award. He has received nominations for six Tony Awards, and a Laurence Olivier Award. He received the Tony Award's Isabelle Stevenson Award in 2015.


The “Dona Nobis Pacem” blues from Leonard Bernstein’s MASS (1971), original Hebrew translation by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Contributed on: 12 Oct 2023 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Leonard Bernstein | Stephen Schwartz |

An original Hebrew translation of the blues-rock portion of the Agnus Dei movement from Leonard Bernstein’s MASS (note: always spelled with ALL CAPS), where the crowd of disaffected and disillusioned young parishioners interrupts the offertory to demand peace now, and hold God to account for not giving it to us. It’s unsurprising that for a composer as proudly and openly Jewish as Bernstein that even his setting of the Tridentine Mass has major “shaking your fist at God” energy. Not gonna lie, I was listening to this on a plane out of Jerusalem as the war was starting, and I started to tear up. I immediately started writing this translation and finished it up in the process of about an hour while stuck somewhere a few thousand feet above Greenland. It’s amazing and moving and tragic and enraging and a little full of itself in exactly the right way to hit me in the heart. . . .