Hildegard von Bingen


The other day I watched a German film titled Vision about the German nun Hildegard von Bingen.

In college, as part of Athena Consort, University of Maine's all women's choir, we sang a cycle of hymn/chants composed by the unorthodox "seer" who lived a little under a thousand years ago. I believe it was Kyrie Eleison which I barely remember, but I do remember them sounding very beautiful in the somber way that such old music does.

The movie makes Hildegard out to be more benevolent and hippie than I think she actually was. From what I have read in historical texts, while she did have visions and say some pretty far out stuff, she was not a kind old mother to her daughter nuns. She was fairly conservative in that area and could be, in fact, very cruel.

Still, it was interesting to have that memory loosed from so long ago. Especially the slightly "blue" things she said about sex, which made our conductor blush and refuse to repeat what he'd found in his research. "You're just going to have to find it for yourselves, because I am  not reading this aloud."

If you want to hear some of her music, I like this music in this video most of the ones I found on YouTube. There are also plenty of albums to purchase or borrow from the library if you search for her name.

Popular Posts