Hildegard von Bingen: The Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations

Sinfonye (Stevie Wishart)  
With members of The Oxford Girls’ Choir

“For Hildegard, it seems music was a way for mortals to experience something of heavenly, or spiritual ecstasy, and it is perhaps this desire which we can most clearly empathise with today. Hers is a creative spirit which soars high, as much in our own time as in her own.” - Stevie Wishart
Sinfonye is an ensemble acclaimed for their daring and innovative approach to medieval music. With members of The Oxford Girls’ Choir, girls aged12-18 years, the group sings the exquisite compositions of Hildegard von Bingen (see page 10). Accompanying the performance is a visual presentation of the 12th century composer’s visions and illuminations, and extracts from her written work (on herself, music, creation, Eve and Mary) read in modern translation.
The group’s director, Stevie Wishart: “The desire to realise something of the creative genius of Hildegard von Bingen has evolved since I formed Sinfonye in 1987. Throughout my formative musical years I was daunted by the apparent dearth of female contributors. It seemed a natural development as an active performer and composer to seek out repertoires sung, inspired or composed by women, and so we have been performing Hildegard’s music since the early 90s.”
With the advent of the 90’s Hildegard-revival, many musicians have attempted to interpret her work. However, apart from a shared enthusiasm for this remarkable composer, perhaps, Wishart’s fresh and original approach has little in common with them. As a musicologist and medievalist, she went back to the original manuscripts. She studied medieval music, as well as other archaic musical traditions, and explored several methods of transcription and assimilation. She works as much as possible within the aural processes of rote learning. In this way the group gains a great deal of collective experience in rehearsal. “The result is very “unconducted”, not because of any untidiness (the ensemble is excellent throughout), but because of the combined senses of freedom and unity. The expressiveness seems born of an understanding jointly achieved, an approach that serves Hildegard well: her work has a personal intensity that perhaps should be expected from a mystic of ecstatic visions” (Early Music).
With The Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations, Sinfonye and the Oxford Girls’ Choir give us a quintessential Hildegard experience.

Sinfonye: Stevie Wishart ( Voice, hurdy-gurdy) and Vivien Ellis (Solo voice); in članice Members of The Oxford Girls Choir: E. Levy, V. Couper,  C. Franks; actress: Nataša Matjašec

With the generous support of The British Council – Slovenia.
Sponsored by British Airways
Special thanks to: župniku Jožetu Kokalju in patru Silvu Šinkovcu

Date and time of event: 
Oct 18th 19:00
Place of event: 
Cerkev Sv. Florijana, Ulica na Grad, Gornji trg, Ljubljana.