Friday, January 29, 2016

Medieval Music

Barbara Sukowa as Hildegard von Bingen
7" x 7.5", watercolor on paper, 2015

Women, during the middle ages, attained influential and high ranking positions. Hildegard von Bingen was the head of a monastry, communicated with the highest authorities, and wrote a number of important books both on secular (medical and herbal) and religious topics. She was the composer of a number of musical works including what is considered the first opera, and was also a scientist. As a woman she could be considered as a so called ‘Renaissance man.’ The film Vision (Margarethe von Trotta, Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen, Germany, 2009) is based on the writings of Hildegard von Bingen and maintains therefore a high level of historical accuracy. The film has a strong feminist vantage point. Hildegard von Bingen is played by Barbara Sukowa. The music in the film is not von Bingen’s but the group Sequentia, an ensemble specializing in medieval music, recorded the complete works of Hildegard von Bingen in the 1990s. Eight CDs were filled to the max, O orzchis Ecclesia is the 15th and final song from the second CD Voice of the Blood.
The watercolor depicting the actress Barbara Sukowa will be reproduced in You Are an Artist! to be published in August of this year.

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