Advent Calendar Day 5: Alma Redemptoris Mater (Hildegard of Bingen)

There’s something about Hildegard of Bingen’s music that always feels cooling and soothing to the mind.  I think it’s the gentleness of the plainchant, and the sweetness of female voices which is so refreshing and relaxing.

The lyrics are a hymn to Mary (Sweet Mother of the Redeemer), and are a traditional text for Advent. Just about everyone has had a try at these lyrics (in fact, I understand that Palestrina wrote two different versions, which might be a thought for another day), but I love the simplicity of Hildegard’s version, and the sense of unity in time and space that one gets from listening to music that is nearly a thousand years old… and yet written for the season we are in today.

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0 comments for “Advent Calendar Day 5: Alma Redemptoris Mater (Hildegard of Bingen)

  1. filkferengi
    December 15, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Have you seen _Hild_ by Nicola Griffith?

    • December 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

      I’ve definitely heard of it, but I don’t think I’ve read it. Looks like something to look out for (though it’s a different Hild, of course).

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