Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.
The Ubi Caritas text has always been one of my favorites in the choral realm. It’s simplicity and beauty, not only in the sounds created from the Latin but also in its meaning, has inspired two fantastic choral works by Maurice Duruflé and Ola Gjeilo. Trying to create a great work while being overshadowed by two already extremely well-written settings of the text was daunting at first, but after several months of multiple failed attempts to generate anything of quality, I finally was able to create a piece that I was actually proud of. My setting of Ubi Caritas makes extensive use of chord clusters, extended tertian harmonies, and divisi within each section to create lush and beautiful harmonies that I felt complemented the already amazing text. It’s a 20th-century interpretation of this Gregorian chant that would challenge any professional, college, or high school choir and also really enjoy performing.
The recording is taken from the world premiere on February 12th, 2012 performed by ASU’s Solis Camerata under the direction of Dr. Kira Rugen.