was commissioned by the Landesakademie für die musizierende Jugend in Baden-Württemberg and dedicated to the Orpheus Vocal Ensemble. There is a strong sense of plainsong modality from the outset and, as the piece progresses, fragments of chant-like melody are overlaid and manipulated like a musical collage. A fast 5/8 tempo gives way to a more lyrical compound time for ‘mater misericordiae’. The increasing opposition of rhythms lends urgency to the line ‘Ad te clamamus’ before subsiding into a moment of calm. Whilst the first half of the piece only alludes to plainchant (the fast 5/8 repetitions of ‘Salve regina’ in fact bearing the same outline as the Ambrosian chant), at the mid point ‘Eia ergo, advocata nostra’ Hansson introduces an unadorned quotation of the ferial version of the Gregorian chant. A single soprano voice sings the final tender line ‘o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria’ with the lyricism of the plainsong melody enriched with the purity and serenity of sustained C major chords beneath. The combination of rich and unresolved contemporary harmonies, with constant recollections of the plainsong antiphon, serves to create in this piece an atmosphere of prayer spanning the centuries.
from notes by Rupert Gough © 2012