Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sequentia gives Hildegard a mystical voice

CAMBRIDGE — The subtitle of the program Benjamin Bagby’s Sequentia presented Saturday at St. Paul Church, under the auspices of the Boston Early Music Festival, was “Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179): Celestial Hierarchy” — as if there could be any doubt as to who the great mystical voice of medieval Germany was. The youngest of 10 children, Hildegard grew up to be a Benedictine nun and abbess, a mystic and migraine sufferer, a theologian, a philosopher, a cosmologist, a poet, a playwright, a composer, an artist, a naturalist, and healer — and a feminist. She was ahead of her time, and so was Sequentia when, in 1982, the then Cologne-based outfit (it has since relocated to Paris) recorded her morality play “Ordo virtutum.” The group has now released all of her music on eight CDs...
...Sequentia’s Hildegard recordings back the singers with fiddle, positive organ, flute, harp, and hurdy-gurdy. That accompaniment is sparer now than it used to be, as the group has moved toward emphasizing the liturgical character of her work; most of the selections were performed a cappella...

for complete article > Sequentia gives Hildegard a mystical voice - Music - The Boston Globe

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