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Project Hildegard #34

Here is a lengthy, but rather wonderful, sequence in honour of one of Hildegard’s favourite saints: St. Rupert. I post it today, in the hopes that by the time his feast day comes along (May 15) I may have managed to revisit it…

This chant is incomplete in the Dendermonde facsimile – there seems to be another page missing, this time between D164v and D165. (See my post about ave generosa and about o virga ac diadema, which are also incomplete in the Dendermonde facsimile because of a missing page.)

Just as an amusing little “by the way,” it tickled me to work on this chant, as it reminded me of a job I did for the artist Tino Sehgal back in the autumn of 2011. I was one of the singers detailed to pop out and sing “This is propaganda, you know” as part of an exhibition at the Argos Centre in Brussels. And the melody we used began like this chant! It took me a while to realize why it was so familiar 🙂

o jerusalem

#hildegardvonbingen #chant #facsimile

O jerusalem, city of gold, adorned with royal purple, building of utmost bounty, whose light is never darkened, you are adorned by the dawn, and in the sun’s heat. O blessed childhood, glowing red in the dawn, and o admirable youth, burning in sunlight. For you, noble Rupert, glitter like a gem, so you cannot be hidden by stupid men, like the valley cannot hide the mountain. Your windows, jerusalem, are specially decorated with topaz and sapphire. For your brightness, o Rupert, cannot be hidden by the tepid ways of man, like the valley cannot hide the mountain – crowned with roses, lilies and purple, in a true vision. Tender flower of the field, and sweet green of the apple, and without a bitter core, not bending your breast to crime! Noble vessel, neither polluted or devoured by the dance in the ancient cave, nor destroyed by the wounds of the ancient enemy: The Holy Spirit makes music in you, who belong to the chorus of angels, since in the son of God you are made beautiful, having no flaw. What a glorious vessel you are, o Rupert, you who in your childhood and youth gasped for God, in fear of God, in the embrace of love, and in the sweetest fragrance of good works. O jerusalem, your foundations are set with burning stones, that is, publicans and sinners: they are lost sheep, unless found through the Son of God, they run towards you and are placed in you. Thus your walls flash with living stones which, through an utmost study of good will, flew like clouds in the heavens. And so your towers, o jerusalem, glow red and shine through the glow and brilliance of the saints and all that God made beautiful, you lack nothing, o jerusalem. As you, adorned and beautiful, who live in Jerusalem, and you, o Rupert, who are their companion in this place, help us, the family that labours in exile.

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This project is now on SoundCloud

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