Words of Love and Wisdom: this a cappella program features some of Hildegard of Bingen’s most ecstatic chants, including O Jerusalem and O Viridissima Virga, reflecting her most important sources of inspiration: Mother Church, Saints, The Virgin Mary, and The Divine Feminine, as represented by Love and Wisdom. These chants are interwoven with new works by acclaimed composers Caroline Shaw, the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Caleb Burhans, “New York’s mohawked Mozart” (Time Out New York), Joel Phillip Friedman, Daniel Thomas Davis, and Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek. The new works are based on, or influenced by, Hildegard’s philosophic writings, her music, and her visions, and each composer presents their own unique and personal interpretation.
The program can be viewed here.
Guest Artist Biography
“They sang exquisitely together, their voices so tightly intertwined that they often sounded as one clear strand….an evening of gloriously clear voices singing exquisitely wrought music spanning centuries.” (Steven Pisano, Feast of Music)
ModernMedieval Voices is a new, all female ensemble created by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, a member of the world-renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4. She draws from a pool of singers specializing in early and new music for concerts, residencies, and special projects that combine medieval chant and polyphony with music from later eras and new commissions influenced by the poetry and sonorities of music from the Middle Ages.
ModernMedieval Voices takes the vocal techniques developed by Anonymous 4 for singing this repertoire and combines them with a fresh approach to programming that introduces this wonderful music to new audiences.
The ensemble gave a triumphant debut performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC performing the Hildegard chant O Jerusalem as part of the Al-Quds:Jerusalem concert with MetLive Arts, described by Heidi Waleson of The Wall Street Journal as “exquisitely sung.” They have given well received performances at The National Museum for Women in the Arts in D.C., The Virginia Arts Festival, VA and the Ecstatic Music Festival in NYC, which was broadcast live on WNYC NewSounds Live, hosted by John Schaefer. The ensemble was also in residence at Binghamton University, performing and working with student composers on developing new works for women’s voices.
The group has given residencies and performances at East Carolina University NewMusic Initiative, University of Tampa, FL, Pittsburgh Dance Project, Liquid Music in Saint Paul, MN, Princeton Sound Kitchen, Electric Earth Concerts in NH, and The Cloisters in NYC as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MetLiveArts series. With the resumption of live concerts in Fall 2021, ModernMedieval Voices and Dr Horner-Kwiatek look forward to concerts and workshops at Princeton, Notre Dame, CSU Fullerton, and Dumbarton Oaks, D.C., as well as singing in the world premiere performance of Christopher Tin’s oratorio To Shiver the Sky. MMV are also featured on the recording of this piece, which was released in 2020 by Universal Music Classics.
“Although more than eight centuries separate us from this music, ModernMedieval’s approach to Hildegard is above all natural, emphasizing her fluent expressivity in perfect medieval Latin. Hildegard is always a good listen, and juxtaposed with sympathetic contemporary works, her beauties were especially resplendent.” (Patrick Rucker, The Washington Post)
https://youtu.be/J-FBGR5FWAU (ModernMedieval sings Hildegard of Bingen's O Virtus Sapientiae)
This concert is co-sponsored by: Department of Music, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Medieval Institute and DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.