Derek R. Brookes

Infunde Amorem Cordibus

Composition Date: 2019
Durationc. 7.30′
Instrumentation: Double Choir
Scoring: SATB-SAT

Program Notes

This piece emerged as part of a portfolio of works that were written to reflect the theme: ‘The Musical Expression of Joy’.

The verses consist of fragments from Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”, whilst the refrain is from two lines of “Veni, Creator Spiritus”, a 9th century Gregorian chant attributed to Rhabanus Maurus (776-856):

I hear these waters,
Rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.
    Accende lumen sensibus 

Wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence
From among the trees!
   Accende lumen sensibus 

Hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity
   Accende lumen sensibus 

I have felt a presence
That disturbs me with the joy
Of a sense sublime
    Accende lumen sensibus 

On the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together
    Infunde amorem cordibus

This selection was made for two reasons: “Tintern Abbey” was Wordsworth’s initial statement of a theme that runs throughout his work: namely, the sense of joy evoked by childhood memories of natural beauty—both visual and aural.

Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me.  [141-5]

“Veni, Creator Spiritus” was chosen because it evokes something of the sublime or ‘transcendent’ that Wordsworth seems to have felt around him, in or through nature. It is also likely to have been sung by the Cistercian monks in Tintern Abbey.