The Symphonia Series is devoted to the musical works of Hildegard von Bingen.
It was born out of almost twenty years of singing and teaching her extraordinary music. I have for some time recognized (and lamented) the void of modern musical resources that adequately capture Hildegard’s creative genius. The Symphonia Series fills that void. It fosters a deeper connection with Hildegard’s music in its original form in a conventional format.
I hope these new musical “translations” will allow a clearer portrayal of her original musical settings than is currently available online and in print. Like any translation, such as a great work of literature, there must be allowances for the interpreter. These editions are viewed through my particular lens and subject to limitations in current notational technologies. Modern editions of medieval music must, by default, be lost of the ineffable qualities present in original notation. Alas, there is no help for it! However, I believe these editions more clearly portray the highly expressive and idiosyncratic nature of Hildegard’s compositional style.
Be forewarned: the editor is a singer! I believe the interpretation of Hildegard’s music is unique, not comparable to the current trends and other schools of traditional plainchant interpretation. Which means the choices I have made in transcribing these works focus upon making sense visually, vocally, and musically.
Hildegard employs a dizzying amount of detail in her music; every musical and textual gesture is highly specific. It is also incredibly expressive.
I believe our connection with her music–and her spirit–is deepened and amplified when we consider these crucial elements of her work.
Working on Hildegard’s music is a creative, intellectual, and musical challenge. I hope the Symphonia Series will help you connect with her music and her legacy.
Please enjoy: make art, be inspired, play, pray. Hildegard’s creative spirit is infinite and democratic. Release yourself from dogma and interpret these chants as you wish.