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Hildegard von Bingen

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(Remember that these albums are collections of music that usually
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Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) German abbess, monastic leader, mystic, and author, Hildegard was born into a family of knights in the service of the counts of Sponheim, close relatives of the Hohenstaufen emperors. Hildegard's parents put her in the care of Jutta, the sister of Count Meinhard of Sponheim, at the age of eight. On Jutta's death in 1136 Hildegard was chosen superior of the community that had grown up around Jutta at Disibodenberg, and eventually moved the community to a new monastery on the Rupertsberg at Bingen on the Rhine. In her administrative role she corresponded with Popes, Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

Hildegard wrote prolifically, and much of her work survives, including accounts of her visions, music, medicine, and letters. Her Scivias ("Know the Way"), the narrative of her visions, was richly decorated under her direction (though not by her hand) with pictures of the visions. Her vivid description of the physical sensations which accompanied her visions have been diagnosed by neurologists (including popular author Oliver Sacks) as symptoms of migraine. The book was celebrated in the Middle Ages and printed for the first time in Paris in 1513.

The scholarly interest in women in the medieval church has led to a great interest in Hildegard, including many recordings of her music. The Ordo Virtutum ("Order of the Virtues"), sometimes referred to as an opera or an oratorio, is a sung drama for women's voices with one male part - the Devil - which she wrote for the nuns of her monastery.

Her feast is celebrated on September 17.



  • Luminous Spirit Chants of Hildegard von Bingen
    from Koch Int'l Classics.
    I have it on my computer at work. People come it and ask me 1) where's the music coming from and 2) what is that? It's gorgeous!

  • A Portrait Of Anonymous 4
    from Harmonia Mundi Franc.
    I learned about this quartet though a review in Stereophile magazine. Although they don't publish a lot of reviews, I've had exceptionally good luck with their past picks and have been able to branch out successfully in new musical directions as a result.

    These four women are virtuoso female...

  • A Feather on the Breath of God
    from Hyperion.
    This CD is an absolutely beautiful collection of works by the legendary St. Hildegarde. The Gothic Voices performers instill a sense of being there, as if you are in a magnificent church with the Abess herself and her choir reaching out to you across the centuries.

    Granted the 800 year anniversary...

  • 11,000 Virgins: Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula
    from Harmonia Mundi Franc.
    This is beautiful music. The four women's voices are so soothing. This is an ideal CD to listen to if for relaxation, meditation, or prayer. I listen to it while I practice yoga. The music is also very important historically, as Hildegard von Bingen is one of the few women composers in the history...

  • Canticles Of Ecstasy
    from Rca.
    A definitive performance.The music of Hildegard Von Bingen resonates across the millennia. I highly recommend Sequentia,s c.d,s of this wonderful music.

  • von Bingen: Ecstatic Chants
    from Fine Tune.

  • Von Bingen: Heavenly Revelations
    from Naxos.
    for someone interested in early music this is a good place to start- von bingen's visions speak to us across nine centuries.

    liner notes are minimal, as is the case with most NAXOS titles, but lyrics in latin and english are provided, which is nice.

    oxford camerata is amazing- many of the solo...

  • Seasons of Angels
    This group is amazing. I've never before heard high soprano unisons like this. And what a variety of music!

  • A to Z of Classical Music
    from Naxos.
    It's only natural we sometimes hit the high seas....make that Cs. This is one box set about which we sing praises. This set features more than two hours of the finest music from across the centuries by such composers as Schubert, Chopin, Mozart, Handel, Stravinsky and Glass. The set also comes with...

  • Kronos Quartet-Early Music
    from Nonesuch.
    When I was listening to MSN I came across it. I love Early Music and they had a Radio station that was playing it. I decided to listen to it. So as I was lisitening to it I came across the song Collected Songs Where Every Verse Is Filled With Grief. That is the besty song I ever heard in a long...

  • Voice of the Blood
    from Rca. Composer: Hildegard of Bingen, Performers: Heather Knutson, Elizabeth Gaver,
    "My husband and I first encountered this CD in our local library. It's one of those encounters that transformed our life. Listening to it almost daily, while we're getting ready for the day, while we're working on our computers, or while doing the dishes, has helped us have an experience of the...

  • Inspired Voices: Music to Enhance Your Spirit
    from Rca.

  • Music of the Angels: Hildegard von Bingen
    from Fine Tune.

  • O Jerusalem
    from Rca.
    Like all the other Hildegard/Sequentia discs, this one is a wonderful addition to any collection. Inspired performances, soaring melodies, intriguing texts. Elizabeth Gaver's instrumental compositions are an especially nice addition; they fit perfectly with Hildegard's style and provide just the...

  • Feminine Escapes
    from Koch Int'l Classics.

  • The Emma Kirkby Collection
    from Hyperion.
    The only defect in this disk is that it isn't a three or four disk set. Some people don't appreciate her beautiful voice and I feel sorry for them. I first heard her voice live in a concert here in Ann Arbor in December of 1980 and she stunned me. The memory of her beautiful voice still lives in my...

  • Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum
    from Rca.
    Hildegard's Ordo Virtutum is a piece of genius. When it was written in the 12th century it was centuries ahead of its time and perhaps in some respect still is. Sequentia's interpretation matches the geniality of this music. The devil's intrusions are an invention without parallel. In the medieval...

  • Song Of Songs: Come Into My Garden
    from Telarc.

  • Medieval Carols
    from Naxos.

  • Inspired-The Breath of God
    from Rca.

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