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August 5 / 19.00 / Cēsis St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

Programme: music by Hildegard of Bingen, Alfonso X, Orlando Gibbons, Jeanne Demessieux, Ryan Clair, Arvo Pärt

Artistic director of the ‘Meditations of Hildegard’ programme Antra Dreģe: ‘The concert will be centred around the “green spirituality” of Hildegard of Bingen and her music, which holds a special place in the repertoire of Putni vocal group. Since 2006, several programmes dedicated to this great figure of medieval culture have been presented to our listeners.

The new programme sees us continue our collaboration with the organist Kristīne Adamaite. We will also be joined by the owner of a uniquely beautiful voice Anta Eņģele, who has swapped her guitar for a monochord for this occasion; she is the owner of this ancient musical instrument. Hildegard’s own serene pieces will alternate with medieval chants by other authors and pieces for the organ. Virdžīnija Laube-Vītiņa will join the singers of Putni group playing Tibetan singing bowls, vibraphone and other percussion instruments. Alongside Hildegard’s chants, the programme will feature 12th‒13th-century Spanish vocal music, compositions by King of Castile Alfonso X, opuses by the Renaissance master Orlando Gibbons, pieces by the organist of the Paris La Madeleine church Jeanne Demessieux and sacred masterpieces by Arvo Pärt.’

Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179), probably the first professional female composer named in the history of music, was a unique and influential figure in medieval culture. She was known as a gifted mystic and prophet, advisor to kings and popes, author of many theological, scientific and medical books. All of Hildegard’s songs are sacral; she wrote both the music and the text. Hildegard found inspiration for her works and saintly life in her divine revelations which visited her from an early age. For her, music was a mystic echo of the harmony of the celestial spheres. This is confirmed by a comparison made by a contemporary after listening to the singing of Hildegard’s nuns: This is how Paradise sounded before the Fall.


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