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Buonemani - Vis aeternitatis MBL7000_thm
Product Info

This score is 24 pages (letter-size - 8 ½ x 11 inches) in length, and is designed for front only copying or for front and back “booklet” style copying. This score is used by the organist as well as the chorus. Purchasers download a PDF file with permission to reproduce copies in maximum quantities of 20, 40 or 99. (Permission “rights” are printed on the bottom of each score). If permission to reproduce more than 99 copies is desired, please contact Once purchased, this music may be performed without limitations. For recording rights, please contact the composer at

Purchase a License for VIS AETERNITATIS


Vis Aeternitatis was written with the organ and choir of St. James' Church, Los Angeles, in mind - for their annual service of "Advent Lessons and Carols." It is dedicated to then Rector of the church, the Rev. Paul J. Kowalewski and his wife, Karen. Specifically, I was intent on writing a piece that might be effectively sung "in the round" with the choir encircling the congregation in the nave of the church. In my search for an appropriate text, this powerful poem on the subject of creation, Adam and the Word made flesh by Hildegard of Bingen immediately resonated with me. The form and style of the piece emanates from the vivid poetry: a mysterious opening drone in the organ and basses under a plainsong-like melody for the lower voices in a minor mode as the introduction; an hypnotic repetitive sequence in the tenors and altos evoking the word "eternity" under a variation of the opening chant in the sopranos; a transitory section where block harmonies and snippets of the chant express the phrase "the Word calls forth flesh in the shape that was drawn from Adam." The central section of the piece expresses the explosive "Power of Eternity", the title phrase of the piece, in a toccata-like cascade of organ figurations that outline a motive from the celebrated "Dies Irae" requiem chant ("Day of Wrath") intermixed with the choir outbursts of "Vis Aeternitatis" in a circle of 5ths harmonic progression, all of which expresses the various themes of "eternity", "power", "flesh", and "mortality." This rapturous section finally calms itself into a repetitive progression by the lower voices on the words "Vis Aeternitatis" which underlays the opening chant melody sung by the upper voices, transformed into a major mode, making a peaceful conclusion with a lone soprano soloist, hovering like a bird, whispering the final words "in the shape that was drawn from Adam." The work has been recorded on the Raven label (OAR-966) by Jeremy Filsell conducting the Choir of the Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC.

Vis aeternitatis


Vis aeternitatis

Que Omnia ordinasti in corde tuo,

Per verbum tuum omnia creata sunt

Sicut voluisti,

Et ipsum verbum tuum

Induit carnem

In formatione illa

Que educta est de Adam.

Vis aeternitatis

Vis aeternitatis.

Power of Eternity


Power of Eternity

You who ordered all things in your heart

Through your Word all things are created

Just as you willed,

And your very Word

Calls forth flesh

In the shape

Which was drawn from Adam.

Power of Eternity

Power of Eternity.

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