Patricia van Ness
Cor mei cordis
Cor mei cordis was written in 1994 as a compositional exercise using chant as the basis for harmonic structure. For instance, a portion of the second movement chant is the harmonic basis for the fourth movement polyphony. I was drawn to chant-based methods of composing after hearing and analyzing a piece of music, Libera nos, salva nos, by John Sheppard (1515-1559). This work, written for seven voices, uses augmented chant in the bass and is to my ears an exquisite example of chant-based polyphony.
The text of Cor mei cordis was written as part of my ongoing exploration into my concepts of the nature of God. In particular, the text is meant to affirm that illness, pain and suffering do not come from God and are in fact lamented by God, and that, regardless of the good or evil that befalls us, we are beloved.