Caritas abundat, Thomas

SATB, a capella

Based on an ecstatic chant by Hildegard, this richly sonorous work expresses the beauty and drama of her mystical poetry.



Program Note

Caritas abundat takes the text and melody of Hildegard von Bingen’s chant as it’s inspiration, quoting from the original chant in the opening few measures. It then employs rich sonorities to express the dramatic arc of Hildegard’s text, while retaining the original sense of mystery inherent in the poetry.
Caritas abundat was commissioned by the Association of Anglican Musicians for their 2014 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. It was premiered by Michael McCarthy and Cathedra, the professional ensemble of the Washington National Cathedral.


Caritas abundat in omnia,
de imis excellentissima
super sidera,
atque amantissima in omnia,
quia summo regi
osculum pacis dedit.


Charity abounds toward all,
most exalted from the depths
above the stars,
and most loving toward all,
for she has given the High King
the kiss of peace.

Text by Hildegard von Bingen

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This entry was posted in Advanced, Choral, Difficulty Level, Sacred, SATB a capella and tagged by Karen P. Thomas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Karen P. Thomas

Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Lucis Music and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and have been featured at numerous ACDA and AGO conferences. A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. As a conductor, Ms. Thomas has produced nine critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. She has appeared as guest conductor at international festivals in Europe and North America, and the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday. She received the 2012 Outstanding Choral Director Award for Washington State, and currently serves on the boards of the Pacific NW Chapter for the Recording Academy (Grammy), the American Choral Directors Association (NW Division), and the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.