One of Suder’s most remarkable works is the festive mass “Dona nobis pacem”. This mass can be seen as a benediction of the composer for the overcoming of the horrors and the surviving of the Second World War. The work that also proved its (then) liturgical capability in ceremonial church services required a grand and competent choir, an own children’s choir, four soloists, a small orchestra and an organ. The Latin main parts with long and short texts are treated very diversely: the Kyrie polyphone, the glory powerful in its homophony and the especially remarkable, lyrically very complex credo: It builds up as one single powerful fugue, in which after the ordinary and the double and triple fugue are inserted two homophone parts as interlude. The Benedictus is performed only by the solo soprano, the solo violin and the organ while the Sanctus virtually merges heavenly and earthly sounds. When in the Agnus Dei an urgent request for mercy is proclaimed in strong chromatics then prior to the gentle Dona nobis pacem an intense and expanded orchestra-interlude (reminding of Beethoven’s “Missa solemnis”) sketches the horrors of the War.
With this masterpiece Joseph Suder succeeded in worthily continuing the tradition of the great orchestra-masses of the 19th century. Despite of high expectations, especially in the choir, many good performances have already taken place. The one under Lutz Herbig in the minster of Baumburg in 1989 was even documented in the Bavarian television.