Per Nørgård's Maya Dances (-for her unborn son)
for mixed chorus SATB (1979/1992) - English version.
Original Danish text by Ole Sarvig - from the opera Siddharta. English vocal version by Paula Hostrup-Jesse.
The two melodies of MAYA DANCES was originally composed for children’s chorus and mixed choir with orchestra, respectively, as part of the opera SIDDHARTA (1974-79). The children’s song (bars 1-27) was later incorporated into the first movement of the choral work WIE EIN KIND for mixed chorus from 1979-80 (printed edition WH 29552).
The present choral version for SATB from 1992, edited by Ivan Hansen and the composer, is a combination of the two above mentioned songs from the opera.
In the opera the children’s singing game describes the sad Queen Maya’s longing for a child. She senses the coming of a new age and is enlivened by dancing a fertility dance for the unborn prince Siddharta. Two themes alternate: the straightforward song of the children, and the comment of Prajapati (Maya’s sister) on Queen Maya’s dance.