Commissioned by Chappelle du Roi. First performed 7 December 2012, St. John’s, Smith Square, London, by Chappelle du Roi.

  • 3 min 30 s
  • Hermann the Lame
  • English, Latin

Programme Note

In this short work I have expanded and enhanced a musical idea (based on the gorgeous and ancient plainsong setting of these words by Hermann the Lame) that originally appeared intertwined with poetry of Geoffrey Hill.

The plainsong is placed over a bed of drifting harmonies, but instead of Geoffrey’s poem I have used my favourite of the many alternative translations of the first line: “Loving Mother of our Savior”.

The accompaniment sounds like a small crowd of people uttering their individual prayers, sotto voce, to the Virgin Mary, the changing major-minor harmonies showing the different moods of each of their pleas to her.