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Per Nørgård

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Fons Laetitiae (1975)
Work Notes
FraFons Laetitiae
Wilhelm Hansen
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
22 Minutes
Soprano [=Tenor]
Alternate Orchestration
Soprano; org
Programme Note
Per Nørgård Fons Laetitiae (1975)
FONS LAETITIAE (1975) for Soprano (or Tenor) and Harp (or luth).
An atmosphere of Marian gentleness, heavenly beauty and redeeming joy typifies the vocal works of Per Nørgårds in the 1970s, for example Fons Laetitiae.

On Fons Laetitiae the composer writes:

The concept of Mary has a depth that transcends all religious persuasions. All over the earth symbols of the gentle and maternal are known. But the word ´Maria´ is also associated – in sound – with the Latin word for the sea, “mare”, and she thus becomes the Star of the Sea, “Maris Stella”.
“Fons Laetitiae (the Fountain of Joy) is the first chamber music work that I composed directly in the context of the ending of my Third Symphony in 1975; it also incorporates melodic and harmonic themes from the symphony (the ´Maria´ motifs). However, the work was combined with a newly-created song (the “Flos ut rosa floruit” melody), whose Golden Section rhythms gave the melody a ´stamina´ that carried it over into many later compositions.”

The two Maria themes and the Flos ut rosa floruit melody are based on direct ´extracts´ from
my so called infinity series, and the arching “Flos ut rosa” melody was developed further in seven later works, from the orchestral Twilight (1976) through the choral song “Flos ut rosa floruit” (1991), the 12-part choral work “Ut Rosa” (2001) and the piano piece “Et rosenblad” (A Rose Petal )(2002) to the harp works Consolazione (2002), Harp Concerto no. 2 – Through Thorns (2000) and “Flowering” (2007).

One of the mentioned ´Marian melodies´ is now included in the new standard Danish hymnal (Den Danske Salmebog no. 720 – Som året går/The passing year) and both have formed starting points for around 20 later works – especially vocal or choral – to texts by the Danish poet Ole Sarvig (1921-1981).

Per Nørgård

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