Arvo Pärt: Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima

  • for mixed choir a cappella
  • Composer: Arvo Pärt
  • Table of contents:
    Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima für gemischten Chor a cappella
  • Dedication: Gerhard Richter gewidmet

Work introduction

In May 2012 I accepted an invitation to Fátima in Portugal. Of course, Fátima had been known to me for much longer. It was the touching story of the three shepherd children who had experienced the apparition of the Virgin Mary in the open field in 1917, which I carried home with me in my head and which two years later produced a small choir piece. The passage underlying the piece comes from Psalms 8.2: “From the mouths of children and infants you create praise for yourself”.

The choir piece should be light in character and convey the joy that I suspected in the three shepherd children.

At the same time the idea arose to organize a concert with my music at the Fondation Beyeler on the occasion of a large exhibition by Gerhard Richter. I had met Gerhard Richter a few months earlier and the wish that both of our works would meet once had been in the room ever since. The exhibition in Basel offered this opportunity.

As soon as I had finished working on my choir piece, I knew to whom it had to be dedicated and where it had to be performed for the first time. The Three Shepherd Children of Fátima had its world premiere on 27th August 2014 in Basel. The Estonian vocal ensemble Vox Clamantis sang under the direction of Jaan-Eik Tulve. The piece is dedicated to Gerhard Richter.

Arvo Pärt


World première

Fondation Beyeler, Basel (CH)
Jaan-Eik Tulve

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