O lucidissima, Thomas

SSA, a capella

“O lucidissima” is the middle movement of Lux Lucis, a collection of three motets for women’s voices, on texts by Hildegard von Bingen. The three movements may be performed as a set, or individually. In addition to this version for women’s choir, there is a version for six solo voices.

Program Note

Lux Lucis is a collection of three motets for women’s voices, on texts by Hildegard von Bingen. The title translates as “light”, and especially refers to the light of life or the light of day – it can also translate as “hope” or “elucidation” in certain contexts. The texts by Hildegard for these three motets contain numerous references to light, the sun, flame, life and radiance. Musically, the motets make some references to Hildegard’s compositions – particularly in the use of the interval of the ascending fifth, which is found in many of Hildegard’s songs, and also in the extended chant which opens the third motet – however, there are no direct quotes of Hildegard’s melodies.

Lux Lucis is dedicated to Seattle Pro Musica, and is recorded on the CD Music of the Spirit, by Seattle Pro Musica – SPM 9805.  Lux Lucis has won the 2009 New York Treble Singers Composition Contest, the 2007 Roger Wagner Contemporary Choral Composition Contest, and the 2005 Jezic Ensemble Composition Contest.

Notes on preparation and performance

The three movements may be performed as a set, or individually.


Latin text
O lucidissima apostolorum turba,
surgens in vera agnitione
et aperiens
clausuram magisterii
abluendo captives
in fonte viventis aque,
tu es clarissima lux
in nigerrimis tenebris,
fortissimumque genus columnarum,
sponsam Agni sustentans
in omnibus ornamentis ipsius:
per cuius gaudium
ipsa mater et virgo est vexillata.
Agnus enim inmaculatus
est sponsus ipsius sponse

English translation
O most luminous band of apostles,
arising in true knowledge
and opening
the enclosure
of the devil’s teaching,
washing his captives
in a font of living water:
you are the most radiant light
in the blackest darkness.
You are a mighty row of pillars
supporting the Lamb’s bride
in all her beauty.
Through his joy,
she is mother and standard-bearing virgin.
For the immaculate Lamb
is the bridegroom of his
immaculate bride.

Contact Karen P. Thomas to purchase this score.

This entry was posted in Advanced, Choral, SA & SSAA chorus, Sacred 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.