A universe of Marian gentleness, heavenly beauty and redeeming joy typifies the vocal works of Per Nørgård's in the 1970s, for example Nova Genitura for soprano and baroque ensemble.
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. Their simplicity makes it possible to grasp the music’s often complex interweaving of concurrent melodies and tempo layers.”
“Nova Genitura was composed directly in the context of the ending of the Third Symphony in 1975; it also incorporates melodic and harmonic themes from the symphony (the ‘Maria’ motifs of the second part). However, the work is combined with a newly-created song (the Flos ut rosa 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 melody are based on direct ‘extracts’ from
the Nørgårdian infinity series. The arching Flos ut rosa melody is developed further in seven later Nørgård work from the orchestral work Twilight (1976) through the choral song Flos ut rosa floruit (1991), the choral work Ut Rosa (2001) and the piano piece A Rose Petal (2002) to the harp works Consolazione (2002), Harp Concerto no. 2 – Through Thorns (2000) and Flowering(2007).
One of the ‘Marian melodies’ has now been included in the standard Danish hymnal Den Danske Salmebog (no. 720 – Som året går/The year goes by) and both have formed startingpoints for about 20 later – especially vocal – works to or based on texts by the Danish poet Ole Sarvig (1921-1981).