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Kurt and the Sophisticated Lady is back!

Kurt Weill, tomorrow in Naarden, NL. Thank you to deMess for ending our six-month exile…

o virtus sapientie

Here is one for all those currently seeking wisdom…

antiphon to divine wisdom: o wisdom, that circled circling and embracing all in one path, filled with life – you have three wings: one flies up high, another brings freshness to the earth, the third flies everywhere. All praise to you, as is your due, o wisdom.

This project is now on SoundCloud

Project Hildegard #17 (2)

ave maria – relatively space

Here, just in time for the feast for the birth of the Virgin Mary, the ave maria revisited.

I decided that this chant was quite busy enough already, and so there is no rhythmic accompaniment this time – rather some somewhat trance-inducing cello and voice held notes and bourdons.

And it seems to me to go very nicely with a picture of a Virgin Mary blue sky…

hail mary, source of life in rebuilding salvation, who has shaken death and trodden the serpent to which Eve reached up, her neck high with inflated arrogance. This you crushed by giving birth to god’s son from heaven, inspired by god’s spirit. O sweet and loving mother, hail, who gave the world your son sent from heaven, inspired by god’s spirit. Glory be to the father and to the son and to the holy spirit. Inspired by god’s spirit.

This project is now on SoundCloud

Project Hildegard #17

ave maria

The birth of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8th. Here, in her honour, is Hildegard’s responsory, ave maria.

This is the third responsory that I have so far recorded during this project, the others being o clarissima mater and o viriditas digiti dei.

Although it follows the usual structure of a responsory, this ave maria is rather unusual. It stays firmly rooted in what we would now call a C major triad (although it does make significant use of the low Bflat). There’s also an unusual amount of melodic repetition. It’s true that there is some melodic repetition at the beginning of o clarissima mater, but this ave maria goes much further in its reuse of the melodic material. For example, the material from the repeated end of the refrain (quem inspiravit spiritus dei) comes back in the verse and the gloria.

hail mary, source of life in rebuilding salvation, who has shaken death and trodden the serpent to which Eve reached up, her neck high with inflated arrogance. This you crushed by giving birth to god’s son from heaven, inspired by god’s spirit. O sweet and loving mother, hail, who gave the world your son sent from heaven, inspired by god’s spirit. Glory be to the father and to the son and to the holy spirit. Inspired by god’s spirit.

This project is now on SoundCloud

Project Hildegard at the Brussels Cathedral

I’m absolutely thrilled that I was able to sing my arrangement of Hildegard von Bingen’s quia ergo femina at the Brussels Cathedral this morning. It’s the first time this arrangement has had a public airing. We performed it in a version for voice and organ (the original arrangement is for six voices (see yesterday’s post)).

If you’re curious to hear how it turned out, here’s the live recording, with many, many thanks to the wonderful organist, Xavier Deprez.