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Karitas Habundat


Hildegard (Karitas Habundat), for string orchestra, 10 minutes.
Commissioned by Sharon Latour.  
Premiered by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.
Barbara Day Turner, conductor.

Hildegard (Karitas habundat) was commissioned to be paired with a two-act liturgical drama about St. Hildegard of Bingen, written in 2006, by Sharon Latour, Ph.D.  If Sir Thomas More was "a man for all seasons," then Hildegard of Bingen is his female counterpart.  She was a woman far ahead of her time and comprehensive in her grasp of the fullness of all life has to offer in both the earthly and spiritual realms.  The composition is a modern arrangement of, and reflection on, St. Hildegard's Karitas habundat, a Psalm antiphon for the Holy Spirit as Divine Love.  This female allegorical figure appears in many of St. Hildegard’s visions and theological works, but Karitas habundat is the only documented song that is dedicated to her.  In St. Hildegard's own words, “The whole creation calls this maiden, "Lady."  For it was from her that all of creation proceeded, since Love was the first.  She made everything.”

habundat in omnia,
de imis excellentissima
super sidera
atque amantissima
in omnia,
quia summo regi osculum pacis


abounds in all,

from the depths exalted and excelling

over every star,

and most beloved

of all,

for the highest King the kiss of peace

she gave.

Psalm antiphon and poetry by St. Hildegard of Bingen.

Latin collated from the transcription of Beverly R. Lomer and the edition of Barbara Newman.

Translation by Nathaniel M. Campbell.

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