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WorksChoral MusicMixed ChorusCarmina mei cordis

Carmina mei cordis (Songs of my heart)

I. Aeterna lux, divinitas (Eternal light, divinity)
II. Angele Dei (Angel of God)

Winner of the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Composition Prize
Performed at Chorus America 2012

Voicing: SATB div. a cappella, with optional soprano and alto solos
Text: Traditional Latin (Liturgia Horarum & Reginald of Canterbury)
Duration: 6 min.
Commissioned by: Kantorei; Richard Larson, conductor
Premiere: October 8, 2004; Denver, Colorado
Published by: Abbie Betinis Music Co., AB-030-02

I. Aeterna lux, divinitas (Eternal light, divinity)

II. Angele Dei (Angel of God)
(Live performance by The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists. Matthew Culloton, conductor.)

Click to hear Abbie address the audience at the premiere (Oct. 8, 2004)

Carmina mei cordis (Songs of my heart), is a set of two short pieces. The first, Aeterna lux, divinitas, is an 18th century hymn from the Liturgia Horarum. Because the text hails the unity of the Trinity, the piece modulates between two primary tonalities, which combine to form a third. In the end, all modalities combine into a canon which spirals on, encircling and unifying all voice parts in its course. The Alleluia refrain is my own addition to this traditional Catholic text.

The second piece, Angele Dei, is more commonly known as the Prayer to One's Guardian Angel. Though it was once attributed to St. Anselm, scholars now trace the Latin prayer to Reginald of Canterbury, who died sometime after 1109. This musical setting, harmonically informed by my love for the choral music of Poulenc and Messiaen, is one of invocation and of my own deep desire for spiritual peace.

- Abbie Betinis, 2004

I. Aeterna lux, divinitas

Aeterna lux, divinitas,
in unitate Trinitas,
te confitemur debiles,
te deprecamur supplices. Alleluia!          

Christum rogamus et Patrem,
Christi Patrisque Spiritum;
unum potens per omnia,
fove precantes, Trinita. Alleluia!

Qui finis et exordium
rerumque fons es omnium,
tu solus es solacium,
tu certa spes credentium. Alleluia!

O veritas, o caritas,
o finis et felicitas,
sperare fac et credere,
amare fac et consequi.

Qui cuncta solus efficis
cunctisque solus sufficis,
tu sola lux es omnibus
et praemium sperantibus. Alleluia!

From the Liturgia Horarum

II. Angele Dei

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
Me tibi commissum pietate superna;
Hac nocte illumina,
custodi, rege, et guberna.

Attrib. Reginald of Canterbury (11th-12th c)
I. Eternal light, divinity

Eternal Light, Divinity,
O Unity in Trinity,
Thy holy name Thy servants bless,
to Thee we pray, and Thee confess. Alleluia!

O Father, Source of God the Word,
O Word with Him co-equal Lord,
O Spirit of like majesty,
O Triune God, all praise to Thee. Alleluia!

Thou First and Last, from whom there springs
the Fount of all created things,
Thou art the Life which moves the whole,
sure hope of each believing soul. Alleluia!

O Verity! O Charity!
O Ending and Felicity!
in Thee we hope, in Thee believe,
Thyself we love, to Thee we cleave.

Thou who alone the world hast made,
art still its one sufficing aid,
the only Light for gazing eyes,
and, unto them that hope, the Prize. Alleluia!

Translation by R. F. Littledale (1833-1890)

II. Angel of God

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom his love commits me here;
Ever this night be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

Translation from Baltimore Manual of Prayers (1888)

These texts -- to the best of my knowledge -- are in the public domain, and may be reprinted from this website for use in concert programs and for promotional use as related to this musical work.

Cambridge Madrigal Singers (Ray Fahrner) - Cambridge, MA
Catholic University of America Recital Singers - Bethesda, MD
Cheyenne Chamber Singers (Sean Ambrose) - Cheyenne, WY
Choir of St. Paul's Episcopal - Chattanooga, TN
C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (Sam McCoy) - New York, NY
Drake Choir (Aimee Beckmann-Collier) - Des Moines, IA
Ensemble of the North (Patrick McDonough) - Saint Paul, MN
Interlochen Arts Academy Chamber Singers (John Bragle) - Interlochen, MI
International Orange Chorale of San Francisco (Zane Fiala) - Berkeley, CA
Jubilus - Decorah, IA
Kantorei (Richard Larson) - Denver, CO
La Crosse Chamber Chorale (Paul Rusterholz) - LaCrosse, WI
Lamar University A Cappella Choir (James Han) - Beaumont, TX
Louisiana State Univ. A Cappella Choir (Kenneth Fulton) - Baton Rouge, LA
Renegade Ensemble (Stanley Rothrock) - Minneapolis, MN
The New Amsterdam Singers Chamber Chorus (Clara Longstreth) - New York, NY
The Singers--Minnesota Choral Artists (Matthew Culloton) - Minneapolis, MN
The Summer Singers (Vicki Peters) - Minneapolis, MN
Trinity Chamber Singers (Dwight Bigler) - San Antonio, TX
University of Minnesota Chamber Singers (Kathy Romey)
University of Washington Chorale (Giselle Wyers) - Seattle, WA
Winona State University Concert Choir (Dr. Harry Mechell) - Winona, MN
Valborgkoor (Árpád Schermann) - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers (Philip Brunelle) - Saint Paul, MN

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