fer cum paciencia:

for bass baritone and organ
composed 1997; duration 13 minutes
text in Latin by Peter of Blois (c. 1135-1204)
commissioned by Eva Feldbæk
world premiere Vestkirken, Copenhagen (Denmark) 1997
nn – bass baritone; Eva Feldbæk – organ

The singer mimics a dialog between a courtier and a religious man. The courtier sings mostly in falsetto, while the warner has a low, resonant voice. The discussion concerns the life after this, and hence how to live this life: should we go for immediate pleasures or prepare for eternity?

Towards the end the two characters melt together, as no obvious conclusion on the matter seems possible.

The excerpts chosen from the text are the following (sung in Latin):


say goodbye to the palaces,
for the court
with its cares, or rather crosses
and fatalities,
always deserve contempt.

The semblance of the world goes by;
man, when he is gone,
won’t take it all with him:
the final, mortal day
will seize him,
and his glory won’t
follow him down.

Whatever you may say, today
the court’s
delights give me pleasure –

I don’t know where to turn
for sheer joy,
since for the sake of glory
men and women defer to me,
every age and condition –

What binds us to the court
is more delicate clothing,
food more exquisite
and more refined,
and there I’m feared, and not afraid,

I’m tied there by the councels
of the rich, the chances
of dignities,
which the friendship
of magnates can bestow.


In the expense
of spirit
there’s no dignity

The riches
you so anxiously
acquire, with such anguish,
will vanish
as a dream does,
instantly, when one awakes.
like thorns,
they sting, hurt, lacerate:
do you know what they’ll confer on you? –
to be the slave of slaves,
while you torment yourself with them
to minister
to the lusts of your clients
and to the gorging
of your peers.

Why should I be accused
if I enjoy
the good things that the Lord’s hand
has given mankind for use?
There’s plenty of time later
when I can be unhappy:
if I live for myself alone,
I’m lost to all the world around me –
God’s gracious spirit
has not sent these gifts from heaven
to deceive us by his cunning
and through his gifts to thrust us down
into the pit of perdition.

Oh, vanity of vanities,
is this your security
amid the spears of gnashing
Death is standing in the doorway,
and you melt
to every craving!

List of Works


Sound art
Chamber music
Stage music
Chamber orchestra