I have admired the creativity of Hildegard of Bingen for a long time. I decided to set to music excerpts from two of her poems: Caritas abundat and O ignis Spiritus paracliti.
The composition is written for an 8-voice female choir with a very clear form. It begins and ends with the lyrics: “Love abounds in all things,” set to music with powerful and colorful chords.
A kind of refrain follows, which has a dance character and is quite virtuosic. It is repeated three times in the piece. With each repetition, the basic theme develops polyphonically with numerous imitations. The music vividly reflects the text: O fire of the Paraclete, the life of every creature’s life: you are holy in giving life to forms.
Between the refrain repeats, two contrasting sections appear. The first speaks of the breath of holiness and fire of charity. Tiny musical motifs slowly develop into soft-sounding chords.
The second part sings of God’s spirit, which brings nature to life: From you the clouds issue and the air soars, stones have moisture and the waters bring forth their streams and the earth sweats out green things growing. A dialogue takes place between the individual groups of voices in the style of “cori spezzati”, while the melodies depict clouds, wind, stones and water…
We have the feeling that the basic musical ideas come from the distant past, from the Middle Ages, but with the help of various compositional techniques they develop into complex sound structures. In this way, I made a connection with the time of St. Hildegard, the author of a wonderful text that still resonates today.
Printed score and digital score are prepared. Please choose one below.