Litanies la Vierge Noire - Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963)

Francis Poulenc completed his Litanies in 1936, within a week of his pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Rocamadour.  He was deeply traumatised by the death of his composer-friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud, an experience which revived his Catholic faith.  This composition, for three-part female chorus and organ, was the first of a steady stream of religious choral works, which continued throughout the rest of his life.  The piece consists of a series of prayers to Mary; the deeply personal nature of the piece is immediately apparent with its humble and angst-ridden pleas

 Samir Savant