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Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum
Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum


This is the second New Series album to feature the Stuttgart-based Ensemble Belcanto. Where its 2001 predecessor focused on contemporary composition by Wolfgang Rihm and others (Come un'ombra di luna), this disc looks at Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, written around 1150 and generally considered the first large-scale musical work beyond the prescribed form of the Mass liturgy. This is sacred music reflecting Medieval thought, as music and morality play are intertwined.

In her creative interpretation, Belcanto leader Dietburg Spohr waives claims to 'objective' historical literalness. Instead, she and her fellow singers encounter the work as if it were written specifically for the Ensemble Belcanto: "We sought to free Hildegard from mystical-esoteric associations and to emphasize the work of an emancipated woman and composer." They have been performing the music of Hildegard von Bingen since the early 1990s, and view her compositions as a joyously experimental bridge between the Middle Ages and contemporary music.

Ensemble Belcanto was formed in 1986 by mezzo-soprano Dietburg Spohr, then a member of Clytus Gottwald's Schola Cantorum in Stuttgart, drawing on her experiences in improvisation as well as choral music, classical singing and new music performance. The group has been committed to adventurous programming from the outset, and many composers have written music for the ensemble.

Personnel: Dietburg Spohr (mezzo-soprano, conductor), Andrea Baader, Martina Scharstein, Selina Drews (soprano), Edith Murasov (mezzo-soprano), Benjamin Cromme, Lilith Reid (spoken voice)


  1. Name
  2. Patriarchae Et Prophetae
  3. Patriarchae Et Prophetae
  4. Querela Animarum In Carne Positarum
  5. Felix Anima
  6. Felix Anima
  7. Sed Gravata Anima Conqueritur
  8. Anima Illa
  9. Scientia Dei Ad Animam Illam
  10. Infelix Anima
  11. Scientia Dei
  12. Anima Illa
  13. Strepitus Diabolo Ad Animam Illam
  14. Diabolus
  15. Humilitas
  16. Humilitas
  17. Humilitas
  18. Caritas
  19. Timor Dei
  20. Diabolus
  21. Obedientia
  22. Fides
  23. Spes
  24. Castitas
  25. Innocentia
  26. Contemptus Mundi
  27. Amor Caelestis
  28. Disciplina
  29. Verecundia
  30. Misericordia
  31. Victoria
  32. Discretio
  33. Patientia
  34. Humilitas
  35. Querela Animarum Paenitentis
  36. Anima Illa
  37. Anima Illa
  38. Paenitens Anima Ad Virtutes
  39. Anima Illa
  40. Humilitas
  41. Humilitas
  42. Diabolus
  43. Paenitens Anima
  44. Anima Illa
  45. Humilitas Ad Victoriam
  46. Victoria Ad Virtutes
  47. Humilitas
  48. Victoria
  49. Castitas
  50. Diabolus
  51. Castitas
  52. Epilog
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