Page 12 - Church Music Quarterly June 2019
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     the Kyrie on Hildegard’s feast day, 17 September. As found in the table below, some of the standard feasts for which she composed music could be adopted by church choirs for liturgical use, including Trinity Sunday (in May or June), the feast of John the Evangelist (27 December) and the feast of the Holy Innocents (28 December). Hildegard’s Marian chants could also be adopted liturgically for almost any of the Marian feast days including the Nativity of Mary and the Annunciation. An unusual and ambitious project liturgically would be to perform the so-called Messe de Sainte Hildegarde, a 1933 publication by the Benedictine monks at Solesmes who added to Hildegard’s Kyrie by setting the rest of the Ordinary
Hildegard’s music has become possibly the most widely recognized plainchant from the Middle Ages
texts to some of her other chant melodies to create
a complete Mass Ordinary. The Gloria is based on her responsory, ‘O magne Pater’ (called ‘O magne Deus’ in the edition), the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei on the respond and verse respectively of her responsory ‘Ave Maria’, and the ‘Ite missa est’ and ‘Benedicamus Domino’ on the opening of her Kyrie.
Hildegard’s Ordo virtutum, a lengthy drama set to music, is the one work by Hildegard whose associated liturgical occasion is less certain. Scholars have speculated that it might have been performed for the dedication of the church at Rupertsberg sometime after Hildegard moved her nuns there (c.1150). Luca Ricossa discovered that the chant that opens the Ordo virtutum, ‘Qui sunt hi qui ut nubes’, long recognized as a biblical quotation from Isaiah 60, is also a direct musical and textual quotation of the opening of a responsory that is associated with the office of the Apostles, and he suggests that as a liturgical occasion. The responsory is found as well for the office of common of the Evangelists and individually for Matthew, Luke and John, and in several manuscripts it appears in the office for All Saints on 1 November; of all of these it is All Saints that is the most compelling as the liturgical occasion on which the

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