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The Hildegard Motets: 2. O splendidissima gemma

By Frank Ferko

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SATB Choir divisi
Composed by Frank Ferko. Sacred, Choral. Octavo. E.C. Schirmer Publishing #4989. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.4989).

Item Number: EC.4989

ISBN 600313449895. Text: Hildegard von Bingen.

The Hildegard Motets comprise a cycle of nine unaccompanied choral motets using texts by the 12th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). The texts were extracted from Hildegard's opus of more than seventy sacred poems titled Symphinia armonie celestium revelationum . Although these poems have been translated into English (more than once) and some of the translations are quite brilliant, I chose to set the original Latin texts as I felt they remained closer to Hildegard's own thoughts. The nine poems used in this cycle were selected according to their appropriateness to seasons in the Christian liturgical caldendar (thus, most of them can be sung in specific liturgical settings) and to their appropriateness to the structured plan of this cycle as well as for their sheer poetic beauty. Hildegard's poetic vocabulary was unusual and unique; she frequently used language that is not found in standard Latin liturgical texts. As with the music she composed, her poetry is highly ecstatic, vivid and rich in imagery. .

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