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Project Hildegard #16

o virga ac diadema

The queenship of the Virgin Mary is celebrated this Saturday, August 22nd. I have chosen the sequence o virga ac diadema, which gives her a royal, purple crown, for the occasion. This one, like ave generosa (see previous post) is partially missing in the Dendermonde manuscript. So I’ve gone with the Riesencodex again.

This project is teaching me a lot. This is the third sequence that I’ve recorded, and all three have a similar structure. Each time, the text has been split into different segments. Every new segment begins with a red letter, and two consecutive segments will usually use much the same melody (albeit adapted slightly to suit the words).

1. O branch and diadem of royal purple, who in your enclosure are like a breastplate. 2. You grew branches and flowered in a different place from where adam made the human race.

3. Hail hail from your womb came a different life from adam’s naked children. 4. O flower, you did not germinate from dew or drops of rain, nor did the breeze fly above you, but divine brightness within the noblest branch brought you forth.

5. O branch, your flowering had been predicted by god on the first day of his creation. 6. From his word he made the golden substance – o praiseworthy virgin.

7. O how great in its strength is man’s side, from which god drew the form of woman , and made her a mirror of all his loveliness, and made her embrace all his creatures. 8. Therefore, heavenly instruments sing out, and the whole world marvels, o praiseworthy mary, who is so loved by god.

9. O how much mourning and lamenting that at the serpent’s persuasion sadness flowed into a woman in crime. 10. For that woman whom god ordained to be mother of all, cut her womb with the wounds of ignorance and bore the full pain for her progeny.

11. Yet, o dawn, out of your womb came a new sun that effaced all eve’s crimes and, through you, brought a blessing for mankind that was greater than eve’s harm. 12. Therefore, o saviour, that brought new light to the human race, gather up the limbs of your son into heavenly harmony.

This project is now on SoundCloud

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