Sunday, July 01, 2012


St. Ursula

Valletta St. Ursula - Feast of St. Ursula - 1 Peal 2012 (1,2,3) - Photos 2013 - 3 Bells / 1

CUM VOX SANGUINIS - Hildegard of Bingen

Cum vox sanguinis.

[The much more extended in poetic and musical exposition, and reveals the subtlety of Hildegard's thought.

Her opening verses proceed in perfect poetic parallelism: Ursula and her "innocent crowd" sing "with a voice of the blood" before God, saying their sacrifice is for Him and worthy of rejoicing; similarly the whole congregation of the Lamb of God sings praise in Jerusalem for the "power of His blood"; Hildegard's musical phrases powerfully outline the melodic structure behind the mode: tonic, fifth, lower fifth, and modal octave. The successive verses continue with the blood imagery, and the rich parallels between the sacrifices of the Old Testament and those of the martyrs, and the close parallelism of musical structure that mimics the structures of Hebrew Psalm poetry. She links the Old Testament sacrifice of bulls that Moses brought to the slaughter of these martyrs, the creation of man from clay in Psalm 99 to the transitory nature of our beings now, the prayerful desire before the rising sun
(Psalm 62) to the praise before the throne of the New Jerusalem,
gleaming in topaz and sapphire.

Throughout, she allows the music of her singers to float among the same modally important pitches (not always a characteristic of chant melodies), and to insert potent shifts between the B natural and B flat inflections of the mode and relatively quick but also potent melismas on particular words such as the name of Moses and the "hanging" of Christ on the tree.
She ends this virtuoso composition with the exhortation for all the heavens and all peoples on earth to sing the same praises, with the most extended melisma on the concluding "Amen!"] (Timothy Dickey

St. Ursula and the Holy Virgins
[The legend of Ursula is based on a 4th- or 5th- century inscription from the Church of St. Ursula (on the Ursulaplatz) in Cologne. It states that the ancient basilica had been restored on the site where some holy virgins were killed... The Roman Martyrology, the official but professedly incomplete list of saints recognized by the Catholic Church, speaks of these virgin saints as follows: "At Cologne in Germany, commemoration of virgin saints who ended their life in martyrdom for Christ in the place where afterwards the city's basilica was built, dedicated in honour of the innocent young girl Ursula who is looked on as their leader."] (Wikipedia)