One of only two instances to date of Pärt setting a Spanish text, Virgencita
is inspired by the legend of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Just a decade after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, an apparition of the Virgin Mary was witnessed in 1531 at Tepeyac, near modern-day Mexico City. A celebrated pictorial representation of the Guadalupe Virgin in the Basilica of Our Lady in Mexico City has since become the world’s most-visited Marian shrine. With its initially muted dynamic range, a tentative sense of wonder builds cumulatively to a scrunchy, forte climax on ‘Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe’. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir premiered Virgencita in Leon, Mexico, in 2012, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste.
from notes by Meurig Bowen © 2014