Single Screen,HD, 7:55, 2005-6

Litanies à La Vierges Noire is by Francis Poulenc. He completed it in 1936, within a week of his pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Rocamadour in France. This and the trauma bought about by the death of his composer-friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud, 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 plea.

The characters emotions in Pitié drift from pleaure to pain echoeing the shift between harmony and dischord offered by the music. Both of these oppositions reflect certain emotional dichotomies in Poulenc's life.