Tonendes Licht (Sounding Light) - Hildegard von Bingen in der Industriekathedrale (Eineszenisch-musikalische Annäherung)
Immesheim Vocalists - Brigitta Seidler-Winkler, dir.
Hildegard von Bingen - Gregorianische gesänge aus Messe und Offizium
Schola und Chor der Benediktinerinnenabtei, St Hildegard, Eibingen - P. JohannesBerchmans Göschl, OSB, dir.
She oftendescribesthe natural world in her books, most often as a symbol or example forsomereligious point. Hildegard was also a gifted poet, writing plainchant songs invibrantLatin.
Today she is best know for the ethereal music to which she sether verse, in echoing voices which soar up and down the scales likeangelssinging in full flight. Hildegard painted too - records of her visions, showing herself asa tinyseated figure with an open slate or book, gazing upwards at hugesymbolicmandalas of cosmic processes, full of angels and demons and winds andstars(see image above).
Galangal was also the principle herb of Hildegards three-week cure for heart problems. She had a pill, a juice, and a powder for heart pain. The pills were to be taken three times a day, after meals during the first week and between meals for the next two weeks. The pills consisted of equal parts of galangal and pellitory, a perennial herb that is native to the Mediterranean as far east as the Middle East, and a quarter as much white pepper. These were to mixed with a meal made from fava beans. It was moistened with fenugreek juice or wine. These pills reduce heart pain.
The switch between high and low notes is almost cyclical. I think that this is meant to represent life and it’s undulations. There are times when one is near to God and reaches the highest note… and there are low periods of faith and joy. Hildegard was purposeful and symbolic in her musical writing. This flow of the music up and down gives the piece a very flow like nature. There is a pulse that is felt in the wave of pitch.
Hildegard regarded galangal mainly as a potent aid to digestion and quick reliever of pain, such as the pain associated with angina pectoris, heart attacks, and gall bladder symptoms. The heart symptoms are secondary to the gastric distress, which, if relieved, eases cardiac pressure. Physicians in Germany who have taken up Hildegard Medicine as their calling have reported that galangal is as effective as nitroglycerin, but it has absolutely no harmful side effects. These same researchers point out that Hildegard, with her mystical vision, was the first and thus far the only herbalist to note the effect of galangal as a heart pain reliever:
Hildegard had her signature in a little motif she left behind in her chants. In her music, we find a melodic leap of a fifth followed by a leap of a fourth upwards. This motif is a musical signature. (Fierro) She broke the schema of the time period that melodic phrasing should be limited to 3rds at the greatest. She went leaps and bounds (no pun intended) in her writing.
Hildegard wrote hymns and sequences in honor of saints, virgins andMary. She wrote in the plainchant tradition of a single vocal melodicline,a tradition common in liturgical singing of her time. Her music isundergoinga revival and enjoying huge public success. One group, ,is planning to record all of Hildegard's musical output in time for the900th anniversary of her birth in 1998. Their latest recording is superb. Be sure to read the translations of the latintext of the songs which provide a good example of Hildegard'smetaphoricalwriting, and are imbued with vibrant descriptions of color and light,thatalso occurs in her visionary writings.
Hildegard von Bingen - The Sacred Fire
A new realisation of the music of Hildegard of Bingen
Cantillation - Paul Virag
When Hildegard was 14, she and one or two others were enclosed in the church as anchorites, and soon
Jutta's anchor-hold grew connected to the male monastery of Disibodenberg.
Visions of Paradise
The Music of Hildegard von Bingen
Music for Paradise — The Best of Hildegard von Bingen
Starting in 1158, Hildegard's travels over the next 13 years took her
to male and female monasteries and to cathedrals to preach to religious and secular clergy.