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Project Hildegard #9

o ignis spiritus paracliti

I’ve not heard any interpretations of this one sung at pitch. Most people start it on D or F, or even F#. But there are two pretty similar chants to the Holy Spirit that come one after the other in both the Riesencodex and the Dendermonde manuscript, and this one clearly begins on A, while the other begins on D. So, although it’s taken me into the stratosphere, I’ve gone for the original pitch. It’s interesting to wonder whether Hildegard wrote it for some particularly high-voice nuns, or – an octave down – for low (mens?) voices. In any event, I like to think that she intended the fiery spirit to shoot up to the heavens…

O ignis spiritus paracliti vita vite omnis creature sanctus es vivificando formas. Sanctus es ungendo periculose fractos sanctus es tergendo fetida vulnera.

O spiraculum sanctitatis o ignis caritatis o dulcis gustus in pectoribus infusio cordium in bono odore virtutum. O fons purissimus in quo consideratur quod deus alienos colligit et perditos requirit.

O lorica vite et spes compaginis membrorum omnium et o cingulum honestatis salva beatos. Custodi eos qui carcerati sunt ab inimico et solve ligatos quos divina vis salvare vult.

O iter fortissimum quod penetravit omnia in altissimis et in terrenis et in omnibus abyssis tu omnes componis et colligit. De te nubes fluunt ether volat lapides humorem habent aque rivulos educunt et terra viriditatem sudatt.

Tu etiam semper educis doctos per inspirationem sapientie letificatos. Unde laus tibi sit qui es sonus laudis et gaudium vite spes et honor fortissimus dans premia lucis.

This project is now on SoundCloud

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