Works

Which Was the Son of ...

2000

Scored for

mixed choir (SATB) a cappella

Duration

7.30

Short description

Choir piece Which Was the Son of … was commissioned by the city of Reykjavík for their European Capital of Culture 2000 programme, Voices of Europe. The composition is dedicated to Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, principal conductor of the youth choir Raddir Evrópu (Voices of Europe), who conducted it during its premiere in Reykjavík in August 2000. The choir was composed of young singers between the ages of 18 and 23 ‒ ten singers from each of the nine cultural capitals from that year. Understandably, English was chosen as the language of the composition, being Europe’s actual lingua franca.

Iceland’s tradition of family names gave the composer an idea to use a passage from the Gospel of Luke, which provides a concrete order of Jesus’s descent and his line…

Choir piece Which Was the Son of … was commissioned by the city of Reykjavík for their European Capital of Culture 2000 programme, Voices of Europe. The composition is dedicated to Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, principal conductor of the youth choir Raddir Evrópu (Voices of Europe), who conducted it during its premiere in Reykjavík in August 2000. The choir was composed of young singers between the ages of 18 and 23 ‒ ten singers from each of the nine cultural capitals from that year. Understandably, English was chosen as the language of the composition, being Europe’s actual lingua franca.

Iceland’s tradition of family names gave the composer an idea to use a passage from the Gospel of Luke, which provides a concrete order of Jesus’s descent and his lineage. Pärt resolved the monotonicity and repetitions of the text using two different elements in music: chord and melody. The latter leads to the multi-voiced polyphony at the end of the composition, where Jesus’ oldest patriarchs, the names of Adam and God are highlighted.

World premiere

26.08.2000
Church of Hallgrímur, Reykjavík, Island

Concert: Raddir Evrópu / Voices of Europe

Thorgerdur Ingolfsdottir (conductor), Voices of Europe

Completion year

2000

Dedication

to Thorgerdur Ingólfsdóttir

Commissioned by

Reykjavík European City of Culture in the Year 2000 for Voices of Europe

Scored for

mixed choir (SATB) a cappella

Duration

7.30

Publishers

Universal Edition

Language

English

Vocal text

Luke 3: 23-38

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,
Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,
Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,
Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, …
Luke 3: 23-38

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,
Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,
Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,
Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,
Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,
Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,
Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,
Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,
Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,
Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,
Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
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