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Hildegard of Bingen: Play Of Virtues

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: She’s sure preaching to the choir

Some of the most well-known surviving pieces of music from the Middle Ages are by Hildegard of Bingen, one of history’s earliest female composers. Hildegard began having visions and giving prophecies at a very young age, leading her parents to send her off to a life as a nun. She eventually worked her way up to becoming an abbess and founded several abbeys in Germany, including the famous abbey in the town of Rupertsburg. In addition to her multi-faceted life as an abbess, herbalist, poet, visionary, and linguist, Hildegard is best known for her compositions of liturgical music. She even set several of her visionary writings down to music and would often use them as theological teaching tools. This piece, The Play of Virtues, is both a collection of Hildegard’s visionary writings as well as a musical play that teaches the audience about the important human virtues like love, patience, and charity.

Music Heard On This Episode

Hildegard von Bingen: The Play of Virtues: O most radiant gem
Sequentia — Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo virtutum - Sequentia (RCA, 1994)
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album cover
Hildegard von Bingen: The Play of Virtues: O most radiant gem
Sequentia — Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo virtutum - Sequentia (RCA, 1994)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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