Totus Tuus (Górecki)

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Score from the work

Totus Tuus Op. 60 (English: Totally Yours) was written for unaccompanied mixed choir by the Polish composer Henryk Górecki in 1987. Górecki composed the piece to celebrate Pope Saint John Paul II's third pilgrimage to his native Poland that summer,[1][2] and the work remains his best-known, if not critically acclaimed, a cappella choral piece of the 1980s.[3] Indeed, Totus Tuus has been described as a contemporary classic (Wordsworth 2013, p. 49). The work was first performed on June 14, 1987 at a High Mass held in Victory Square, Warsaw by the Choir of the Warsaw Academy of Catholic Theology.

The libretto was taken from a poem written by contemporary writer Maria Boguslawska which is addressed to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of Poland.[4] Totus Tuus's form is ABA'CD, and marks a return to the simple homophony characteristic of Górecki's earlier Marian Songs.[5] The composition's texture utilises homophony to allow for a clear voice for the libretto, while the simple chant form is repeated to slowly build a musical affirmation of faith. Gorecki used a homophonic texture in other Marian compositions such as 1985's Marian Songs, Op. 54, and Under your Protection, Op. 56.[5] This simplification of texture also occurs in Gorecki's most famous work, Symphony No. 3, where a similarly simple, diatonic language is employed to evoke the sparse and repetitive mood of Holy minimalism.[6]

Performances[edit]

France[edit]

Aix-en-Provence choir Opus 13 performed the score in three concerts in 2011.

United States[edit]

The Royal School of Church Music St. Louis summer course performed Totus Tuus in July 2005 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

The New Mexico Symphonic Chorus performed Totus Tuus at St. John's Cathedral in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in April of 2012.

The Utah Valley University Masterworks Chorale performed Totus Tuus at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Orem, Utah, October of 2012, under the direction of Ryan Roberts.

The Choir of Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Greenville, DE performed the work on December 1, 2013.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Totus tuus, Op.60". classicalarchives.com. Retrieved on 21 February 2009.
  2. ^ Totus Tuus was Saint John Paul II's motto
  3. ^ Thomas, 108
  4. ^ Thomas, 171
  5. ^ a b Thomas, 109
  6. ^ "Totus Tuus: ". crossingchoir.com. Retrieved on February 22, 2009.

Sources[edit]

  • Thomas, Adrian. 1997. Górecki. Oxford Studies of Composers. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816393-2
  • Wordsworth, David. 2013. Pushing Boundaries. Choir and Organ Journal: November and December 2013, pp. 47-51.

External links[edit]