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Hildegard Von Bingen Portrait [DVD] 
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- The Soul Ansy Boothroyd
- The Devil John Hancorn
- The Virtues Vox Animae, led by Evelyn Tubb
- Chorus of Patriarchs, Prophets and Souls Mayfield Chamber Opera Chorus
- Harp Michael Fields
- Recorder Piers Adams
- Percussion Steven Devine
- Directors Michael Fields and Evelyn Tubb
From the Back Cover
Ordo Virtutum (70 minutes)
The Ritual of the Virtues is the oldest surviving European music-drama, and the greatest musical work by the visionary mystic, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). Hildegard left a treasury of writings and music expressing the passionate intensity of her mystical experiences. Her profound knowledge seemed to come directly from a source of wisdom deeper than learning and tradition, finding its expression through the symbolism of medieval Christendom. She tells us that the spirit and the world are not separate but intertwined, and that spirituality and worldliness do not have to be separate either. Although she has lived almost her entire life as a cloistered nun, she was deeply involved with the world on many levels observing, writing, preaching and organizing a community. Through her many writings, she tells us that help is always at hand, both from the world we know with our senses and from the world we discover with our hearts and intuition.
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Top Customer Reviews
On DVD 1 is a 70-minute filmed version of her 'Ordo Virtutem' ('Ritual of Virtues') performed by a group of British singers/actors under the direction of Michael Fields and Evelyn Tubb; Ms Tubb portrays the central character, Anima (The Soul). It was shot in a the ruin of an abbey somewhere, I'd guess in England (although it might be Germany) and the visual effect is simply gorgeous. The 'staging' is hieratic, befitting the ritualistic nature of the chanting, and features individual singers for each of the Virtues (Humility, Knowledge of God, Charity, Fear of God, Obedience, Faith, Hope, etc.). Like a good opera or sacred oratorio, it tells of the moving story of the Soul's fight against the Devil with the aid of the Virtues.
Following that, on DVD 1, is a 45 minute conversation with and lecture by Matthew Fox, a well-known scholar of the life and works of Hildegard. Fox, a liberal theologian and Dominican priest who was silenced by the Vatican and later dismissed from his order, is now an Episcopal priest in California. His knowledge of Hildegard is second to none, and the interview and lecture are unfailingly fascinating.
On DVD 2 is a dramatization of Hildegard's life from the BBC. It features Patricia Routledge (best known to us Americans as Hyacinth Bucket on the BBC program, 'Keeping Up Appearances,' but for many years a well-esteemed serious actress) as the head of the abbey in which Hildegard is raised and continues to live. Again, the mise en scène is gorgeous, the acting beautifully done.Read more ›