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Tu Pauperum Refugium

posted on 20.07.2021, 08:25 authored by Hendrik HofmeyrHendrik Hofmeyr

Tu Pauperum Refugium (2000) was commissioned for the UNESCO-sponsored SongBridge 2001 concert in Vancouver, where it was performed by the Tygerberg Children’s Choir (South Africa), the Odawara Children’s Choir (Japan), the Moran Choir (Israel), and the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir, with the participation of the audience.

The main body of the work consists of an extended invocation in the form of a polychoral motet, based on an anonymous Latin text, and ending with a plea for peace. This is preceded by a briefer introductory section, based on passages from the Old Testament, in which the horrors of violence and oppression are described. This section features several extra-musical effects (whispering, hissing, finger- and tongue-clicks, foot-stamping and indeterminate clusters), many of which form part of the South African choral tradition.

The version of the work for two mixed choirs was performed a total of nine times both nationally and internationally in 2018 by the Stellenbosch University Choir conducted by André van der Merwe:

1–2: Woordfees, Endler Hall, 8–9 March 2018

3: Endler Hall, 6 May 2018

4: Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium, Cape Town, 13 May 2018

5: Purcell Room, London (UK), 1 July 2018

6–7: International Eisteddfod, Llangollen (UK), 6–7 July 2018 (Category winners)

8: Celebratory Concert, World Choir Games, Pretoria, 12 July 2018

9: Kalfiefees, Hermanus, 12 August 2018


Commissioned for the Tygerberg Children's Choir by UNESCO



South African College of Music, University of Cape Town