Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo virtutum

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
Ordo virtutum (Spiel der Kräfte - Play of the Virtues - Jeu des Vertus)
Deutsche Harmonia mundi (BASF) DHL 20 395/96 2 RG [LPx2]
Deutsche Harmonia mundi (HM-France) HM 20 395/96 2 RG [LPx2]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (EMI) 1C 165-99942/43 T [LPx2]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (EMI) CDS 7 49249 8 (box) / CDC 7 49249/50 2 (cds) [CDx2]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (EMI) CDCB 49249 (box, USA) / CDC 7 49249/50 2 (cds) [CDx2]
Deutsche Harmonia mundi (Angel) CDCB 49 249 [CDx2]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi "Editio classica" (BMG-Europe) GD77051 [CDx2]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi "Editio classica" (BMG-America) 77051-2-RG [CDx2]


    Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum

    LP-1 / CD-1

  1. Ecce quadragesimo tertio
  2. Antiphon: O splendissima gemma
  3. Prologue: Qui sunt hi, qui ut nubes?
  4. Scene One: O nos peregrine sumus

    Scene One (end): Que est hec potestas, quod nullus sit preter deum?
  5. Scene Two (beginning): Ego, Humilitas, regina Virtutum
  6. LP-2 / CD-2

  7. Scene Two (end): Ego sum amatrix simplicium morum
  8. Scene Three: Heu, heu, nos Virtutes plangamus

  9. Scene Four: Que es, aut unde venis?
  10. Finale: Hoc audiant et intelligant omnes populi
  11. Finale (end): In principio omnes creature viruerunt

Source (music):
Wiesbaden, Hessische Landesbibliothek, Hs. 2 (Rupertsberger Riesenkodex) fol. 478s-481a

Source (text):
Ordo Virtutum, from critical text by Peter Dronke, Oxford University press (1970)

Sequentia, Ensemble für Musik des Mittelalters
Barbara Thornton (voice: Felix anima / Infelix anima), Guillemette Laurens (voice: Humilitas), Jill Feldman (voice: Scientia Dei / Fides / Misericordia), Lauri Monahan (voice: Castitas / Discretio), Theresa Lister (voice: Timor Dei / Contemptus Mundi), Caroline Trevor (voice: Caritas / Disciplina / Innocentia), Sally Sanford (voice: Obedientia / Verecundia / Victoria), Candace Smith (voice: Spes / Amor cælestis / Patientia)
Margriet Tindemans (fiddle, psaltery), Sarah Cunningham (fiddle), David Hart (flute), Benjamin Bagby (organetto, harp, hurdy-gurdy)
with participation of:
Carmen-Renate Köper (voice: Hildegard von Bingen), William Mockridge (voice: Diabolus) & Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament (Wolgang Kläsener, Stefan Klöckner, Klaus Lohmann, Bernard Schüth, Burkhard Wiggeshoff)

Playing time:
(LP): (27' 08" + 21' 49") + (25' 37" + 14' 33") = 1h 29' 07"
(CD): 48' 56" + 40' 10" = 1h 29" 06"

Recording site and date:
Knechtsteden Klosterkirche [06/1982];
Rel.: 1982 [BASF], 1987 [EMI], 1990 (BMG)

Reviewed in:
Fanfare (Vol./#-p.): 8/6-190 (July / August 1985)

Original Information from François Velde, later expanded by Pierre-F. Roberge (LP & CD).

Similar release
This play has been recorded again later by Sequentia: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77394 [CDx2] Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum


The Ordo Virtutum or Play of the Virtues is an allegorical play written ca. 1150 by Hildegard, possibly for the consecration of the monastery she founded on the Rupertsberg near Bingen. It shows the Human Soul, main protagonist, torn between the Virtues and the Devil, who wins her over for a while until she returns to the Virtues. The music consists in monophonic settings of Latin texts written by Hildegard herself, and destined to be sung by the nuns of her monastery (the spoken part of the Devil is a man's). Extraordinary piece of music, and one of the oldest we have (aside from chant).

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François Velde