Hildegard of Bingen was born to noble parents in the small village of Bemersheim, near Alzey, Rheinhessen (now in Germany), in 1098. Aged 8 she was put into the care of Jutta of Spanheim, the abbess of a community of nuns attached to the Benedictine monastery of Disibodenberg, near Bingen, 25 miles south-west of Mainz. She was destined to become the most celebrated woman of her age as a visionary, naturalist, playwright, poetess and composer. In 1141, having succeeded Jutta as abbess, she had a vision in which she saw tongues of flame descend from the heavens and settle upon her.: thereafter she devoted herself to a life of intense creativity. She wrote 2 books on natural history & medicine (Physica and Cause et Cure) and a morality play, "Ordo Virtutum", which pre-dates all other works in that genre by some hundred years. Her book of visions, Scivias, occupied her for 10 years, 1141-51.
This recording draws upon Hildegard’s large collection of music and poetry, the "Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum". It contains some of the finest songs ever written in the Middle Ages, and a number of the most elaborate, the Sequences, are recorded here for the first time
Emma Kirkby (soprano) with the Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page. Hyperion, 1981/5. Gramophone Award Winner 1982/3 Early Music category.
Hildegard - Columba aspexit
O ignis Spiritus Paracliti
O Jerusalem aurea civitatis (sequence to St Rupert)
O viridissima virga
O presul vere civitas