Special Online Presentation with Alexi Kenney

LIVE through May 31—For 19/20 season donors and patrons

At your home, wherever you may be

Approx 90 minutes, with no intermission

What’s Interesting About This Event

  • This livestream was available free to 19/20 donors and ticket holders, May 24 through May 31, 2020.
  • For the first time in California Symphony’s history, we present an online premiere featuring live recordings by violinist Alexi Kenney from his home in Palo Alto, plus interviews with Music Director Donato Cabrera in San Francisco.
  • Audience favorite Alexi Kenney made his California Symphony debut in January 2018 performing the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1.  He has earned wide-spread acclaim for his insightful and artistic interpretations, as well as his inspired programming, often melding the new with the old, the familiar with the obscure. A recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and an Avery Fisher Career Grant, he was named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times.

The Program

Piazzolla Tango Etude No. 1 for solo flute or violin

Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (Spanish pronunciation: [pjaˈsola], Italian pronunciation: [pjatˈtsɔlla]; March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His works revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed Nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as "the world's foremost composer of Tango music".[1]



Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1921, the only child of Italian immigrant parents, Vicente "Nonino" Piazzolla and Assunta Manetti.[2] His paternal grandfather, a sailor and fisherman named Pantaleo (later Pantaleón) Piazzolla, had immigrated to Mar del Plata from Trani, a seaport in the southeastern Italian region of Apulia, at the end of the 19th century.[3] His mother was the daughter of two Italian immigrants from Lucca in the central region of Tuscany.[4]

In 1925 Astor Piazzolla moved with his family to Greenwich Village in New York City, which in those days was a violent neighbourhood inhabited by a volatile mixture of gangsters and hard-working immigrants.[5] His parents worked long hours and Piazzolla soon learned to take care of himself on the streets despite having a limp. At home he would listen to his father's records of the tango orchestras of Carlos Gardel and Julio de Caro, and was exposed to jazz and classical music, including Bach, from an early age. He began to play the bandoneon after his father spotted one in a New York pawn shop in 1929.[6]

After their return to New York City from a brief visit to Mar del Plata in 1930, the family moved to Little Italy in lower Manhattan. In 1932 Piazzolla composed his first tango, "La Catinga". The following year he took music lessons with the Hungarian classical pianist Bela Wilda, a student of Rachmaninoff who taught him to play Bach on his bandoneon. In 1934 he met Carlos Gardel, one of the most important figures in the history of tango, and played a cameo role as a paper boy in his movie El día que me quieras.[7] Gardel invited the young bandoneon player to join him on his tour.[8] Much to Piazzolla's dismay, his father decided that he was not old enough to go along.[8] The disappointment of being forbidden to join the tour proved to be fortunate, as it was on this tour in 1935 that Gardel and his entire orchestra perished in a plane crash.[8] In later years Piazzolla jokingly made light of this fateful event: had his father let him join the tour, Piazzolla would have played the harp instead of the bandoneon.[8]

Early career

In 1936, he returned with his family to Mar del Plata, where he began to play in a variety of tango orchestras and around this time he discovered the music of Elvino Vardaro’s sextet on the radio. Vardaro's novel interpretation of tango made a great impression on Piazzolla and years later he would become Piazzolla's violinist in his (String Orchestra) and his .

Inspired by Vardaro's style of tango, and still only 17 years old, Piazzolla moved to Buenos Aires in 1938 where, the following year, he realized a dream when he joined the orchestra of the bandoneonist Aníbal Troilo, which would become one of the greatest tango orchestras of that time. Piazzolla was employed as a temporary replacement for who was ill, but when Rodríguez returned to work Troilo decided to retain Piazzolla as a fourth bandoneonist. Apart from playing the bandoneon, Piazzolla also became Troilo's arranger and would occasionally play the piano for him. By 1941 he was earning a good wage, enough to pay for music lessons with Alberto Ginastera, an eminent Argentine composer of classical music. It was the pianist Arthur Rubinstein, then living in Buenos Aires, who had advised him to study with Ginastera and delving into scores of Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, and others, Piazzolla rose early each morning to hear the Teatro Colón orchestra rehearse while continuing a gruelling performing schedule in the tango clubs at night. During his five years of study with Ginastera he mastered orchestration, which he later considered to be one of his strong points. In 1943 he started piano lessons with the Argentine classical pianist Raúl Spivak, which would continue for the next five years, and wrote his first classical works Preludio No. 1 for Violin and Piano and Suite for Strings and Harps. That same year he married his first wife, Dedé Wolff, an artist, with whom he had two children, Diana and Daniel.

As time went by Troilo began to fear that the advanced musical ideas of the young bandoneonist might undermine the style of his orchestra and make it less appealing to dancers of tango. Tensions mounted between the two bandoneonists until, in 1944, Piazzolla announced his intention to leave Troilo and join the orchestra of the tango singer and bandoneonist . Piazzolla would lead Fiorentino's orchestra until 1946 and make many recordings with him, including his first two instrumental tangos, La chiflada and Color de rosa.

In 1946 Piazzolla formed his Orquesta Típica, which, although having a similar formation to other tango orchestras of the day, gave him his first opportunity to experiment with his own approach to the orchestration and musical content of tango. That same year he composed El Desbande, which he considered to be his first formal tango, and then began to compose musical scores for films, starting with Con los mismos colores in 1949 and Bólidos de acero in 1950, both films directed by Carlos Torres Ríos.

Having disbanded his first orchestra in 1950 he almost abandoned tango altogether as he continued to study Bartok and Stravinsky and orchestra direction with Hermann Scherchen. He spent a lot of time listening to jazz and searching for a musical style of his own beyond the realms of tango. He decided to drop the bandoneon and to dedicate himself to writing and to studying music. Between 1950 and 1954 he composed a series of works that began to develop his unique style: Para lucirse, Tanguango, Prepárense, Contrabajeando, Triunfal and Lo que vendrá.

Studies in Paris

At Ginastera's urging, on August 16, 1953, Piazzolla entered his classical composition "Buenos Aires Symphony in Three Movements" for the Fabian Sevitzky Award. The performance took place at the law school in Buenos Aires with the symphony orchestra of Radio del Estado under the direction of Sevitzky himself. At the end of the concert, a fight broke out among members of the audience who were offended by the inclusion of two bandoneons in a traditional symphony orchestra. In spite of this Piazzolla's composition won a grant from the French government to study in Paris with the legendary French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger at the Fontainebleau conservatory.[9]

In 1954 he and his wife left their two children (Diana aged 11 and Daniel aged 10) with Piazzolla's parents and travelled to Paris. Piazzolla was tired of tango and tried to hide his tanguero past and his bandoneon compositions from Boulanger, thinking that his destiny lay in classical music. Introducing his work, Piazzolla played her a number of his classically inspired compositions, but it was not until he played his tango Triunfal that she congratulated him and encouraged him to pursue his career in tango, recognising that this was where his talent lay. This was to prove a historic encounter and a cross-road in Piazzolla's career.

With Boulanger he studied classical composition, including counterpoint, which was to play an important role in his later tango compositions. Before leaving Paris, he heard the octet of the American jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, which was to give him the idea of forming his own octet on his return to Buenos Aires. He composed and recorded a series of tangos with the String Orchestra of the Paris Opera and began to play the bandoneon while standing up, putting his right foot on a chair and the bellows of the instrument across his right thigh. Until that time bandoneonists played sitting down.

In the vanguard of nuevo tango

Back in Argentina, Piazzolla formed his (String Orchestra), which performed with the singer , and his Octeto Buenos Aires in 1955. With two bandoneons (Piazzolla and Leopoldo Federico), two violins (Enrique Mario Francini and ), double bass (), cello (José Bragato), piano (Atilio Stampone), and an electric guitar (Horacio Malvicino), his Octeto effectively broke the mould of the traditional orquesta típica and created a new sound akin to chamber music, without a singer and with jazz-like improvisations. This was to be a turning point in his career and a watershed in the history of tango. Piazzolla's new approach to the tango, nuevo tango, made him a controversial figure in his native land both musically and politically. However, his music gained acceptance in Europe and North America, and his reworking of the tango was embraced by some liberal segments of Argentine society, who were pushing for political changes in parallel to his musical revolution.

In 1958 he disbanded both the Octeto and the String Orchestra and returned to New York City with his family where he struggled to make a living as a musician and arranger. Briefly forming his own group, the Jazz Tango Quintet with whom he made just two recordings, his attempts to blend jazz and tango were not successful. He received the news of the death of his father in October 1959 while performing with Juan Carlos Copes and María Nieves in Puerto Rico and on his return to New York City a few days later, he asked to be left alone in his apartment and in less than an hour wrote his famous tango Adiós Nonino, in homage to his father.

Copes and Nieves packed out in San Juan, Puerto Rico with "Compañia Argentina Tangolandia". Piazzolla was serving as the musical director. The tour continued in New York, Chicago and then Washington. The last show that the three of them did together was an appearance on CBS the only colour TV channel in the US on the in April 1960.[10]

Back in Buenos Aires later that year he put together the first, and perhaps most famous, of his quintets, the , initially comprising bandoneon (Piazzolla), piano (), violin (Simón Bajour), electric guitar (Horacio Malvicino ) and double bass (Kicho Díaz). Of the many ensembles that Piazzolla set up during his career it was the quintet formation which best expressed his approach to tango.

Piazzolla & his orchestra at television network Canal13 in 1963. (AGN)

In 1963 he set up his and the same year premiered his Tres Tangos Sinfónicos, under the direction of Paul Klecky, for which he was awarded the Hirsch Prize.

In 1965 he released El Tango, an album for which he collaborated with the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. The recording featured his Quinteto together with an orchestra, the singer Edmundo Rivero and Luis Medina Castro reciting texts.

In 1966 he left Dedé Wolff and the following year signed a five-year contract with the poet Horacio Ferrer with whom he composed the operetta María de Buenos Aires, with lyrics by Ferrer. The work was premiered in May 1968 with the singer Amelita Baltar in the title role and introduced a new style of tango, Tango Canción (in English: Tango Song). Soon after this he began a relationship with Amelita Baltar. The following year he wrote Balada para un loco with lyrics by Ferrer which was premiered at the First Iberoamerican Music Festival with Amelita Baltar and Piazzolla himself conducting the orchestra. Piazzolla was awarded second prize and the composition would prove to be his first popular success.

In 1970 Piazzolla returned to Paris where with Ferrer he wrote the oratorio El pueblo joven later premiered in Saarbrücken, Germany in 1971. On May 19, 1970 he gave a concert with his Quinteto at the Teatro Regina in Buenos Aires in which he premiered his composition Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas.

Back in Buenos Aires he founded his Conjunto 9 (a.k.a. Nonet), a chamber music formation, which was a realisation of a dream for Piazzolla and for which he composed some of his most sophisticated music. He now put aside his first Quinteto and made several recordings with his new ensemble in Italy. Within a year the Conjunto 9 had run into financial problems and was dissolved and in 1972 he participated in his first concert at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, sharing the bill with other Tango orchestras.

Astor Piazzolla with Gerry Mulligan at the Summit recording, Milan (Italy) 1974. The image includes the producer Aldo Pagani, first from the left, and some performers, including Pino Presti, 2nd from right, and Tullio De Piscopo, 2nd from left

After a period of great productivity as a composer, he suffered a heart attack in 1973 and that same year he moved to Italy where he began a series of recordings which would span a period of five years. The music publisher Aldo Pagani, a partner in Curci-Pagani Music, had offered Piazzolla a 15-year contract in Rome to record anything he could write. His famous album Libertango was recorded in Milan[11] in May 1974 and later that year he separated from Amelita Baltar and in September recorded the album Summit (Reunión Cumbre) with the saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and an Italian orchestra, including jazz musicians such as bassist /arranger Pino Presti and drummer Tullio De Piscopo,[12] in Milan. The album includes the composition Aire de Buenos Aires by Mulligan.

In 1975 he set up his an octet made up of bandoneon, electric piano and/or acoustic piano, organ, guitar, electric bass, drums, synthesizer and violin, which was later replaced by a flute or saxophone. Later that year Aníbal Troilo died and Piazzolla composed the Suite Troileana in his memory, a work in four parts, which he recorded with the Conjunto Electronico. At this time Piazzolla started a collaboration with the singer with whom he made a number of recordings.

In December 1976 he played at a concert at the Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, where he presented his work, “500 motivaciones”, written especially for the Conjunto Electronico, and in 1977 he played another memorable concert at the Olympia in Paris, with a new formation of the Conjunto Electronico.

In 1978 he formed his second Quintet, with which he would tour the world for 11 years, and would make him world-renowned. He also returned to writing chamber music and symphonic works.

During the period of Argentine military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, Piazzolla lived in Italy, but returned many times to Argentina, recorded there, and on at least one occasion had lunch with the dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. However, his relationship with the dictator might have been less than friendly, as recounted in Astor Piazzolla, A manera de memorias (a comprehensive collection of interviews, constituting a memoir):[13]

One year before the Los Largartos issue you went to Videla's house and had lunch with him. Why did you accept that invitation?
What invitation? They sent a couple of guys in black suits and a letter with my name on it that said that Videla expected me a particular day in a particular place. I have a book around someplace, with pictures of all the guests: Eladia Blázquez, Daniel Tinayre, Olga Ferri, the composer , there were painters, actors […] – Astor Piazzolla, A manera de memorias

In 1995 his family received the Konex Award, as the most important musician of the decade in Argentina.[14][15]

Traveling the world

Astor Piazzolla (lithography)
Astor Piazzolla's Doble A bandoneon used in his main concerts.

In 1982 he recorded the album Oblivion with an orchestra in Italy for the film Enrico IV, directed by Marco Bellocchio, and in May 1982, in the middle of the Falklands War, he played in a concert at the Teatro Regina, Buenos Aires with the second Quinteto and the singer Roberto Goyeneche. That same year he wrote Le Grand Tango for cello and piano, dedicated to Russian cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich which would be premiered by him in 1990 in New Orleans.

On 11 June 1983 he put on one of the best concerts of his life when he played a program of his music at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. For the occasion he regrouped the Conjunto 9 and played solo with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, directed by . The programme included his three-movement Concierto para bandoneón y orquesta and his 3 movement Concierto de Nacar.

On 4 July 1984 Piazzolla appeared with his Quinteto at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the world's largest jazz festival, and on 29 September that same year they appeared with the Italian singer Milva at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris. His concert on 15 October 1984 at the Teatro Nazionale in Milan was recorded and released as the album Suite Punta del Este. At the end of that same year he performed in West-Berlin, and in theater Vredenburg in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, where VPRO-TV-director Theo Uittenbogaard recorded his Quinteto Tango Nuevo, playing, among other pieces, a very moving Adios Nonino, with as a backdrop – to Piazzolla's great pleasure – the extremely zoomed-in "live"' projection of his bandoneon playing.[16]

In 1985 he was named Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires and premiered his Concerto for Bandoneon and Guitar (also known as Tribute to Liège), at the Fifth International Liège Guitar Festival on March 15, with the Liège Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leo Brouwer and Cacho Tirao on guitar. Piazzolla made his London debut with his second Quinteto at the Almeida Theatre in London at the end of June.

With the film score for El exilio de Gardel he won the French critics Cesar Award in Paris for best film music in 1986.

He appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland, with vibraphonist Gary Burton in July 1986 and on 6 September 1987 gave a concert in New York's Central Park, in the city where he spent his childhood.

In September 1987 he recorded his Concierto para bandoneón y orquesta and Tres tangos para bandoneón y orquesta with Lalo Schifrin conducting the St. Luke's Orchestra, in the Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University.

In 1988 he wrote music for the film Sur and married the singer and television personality Laura Escalada on April 11. In May that year he recorded his album La Camorra in New York, a suite of three pieces, the last time he would record with the second Quinteto. During a tour of Japan with Milva he played at a concert at the Nakano Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo on June 26, 1988 and that same year underwent a quadruple by-pass operation.

Early in 1989 he formed his Sexteto Nuevo Tango, his last ensemble, with two bandoneons, piano, electric guitar, bass and cello. Together they gave a concert at the Club Italiano in Buenos Aires in April, a recording of which was issued under the title of Tres minutos con la realidad. Later he appeared with them at the Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires in the presence of the newly elected Argentine President Carlos Menem on Friday, June 9. This would be Piazzolla's last concert in Argentina.

There followed a concert at the Royal Carre Theatre in Amsterdam with his Sexteto and Osvaldo Pugliese’s Orquesta on June 26, 1989, a live recording at the BBC Bristol Studios in June 1989, between concerts in Berlin and Rome, and a concert at the Wembley Conference Centre on June 30, 1989. On November 4, 1989, he gave a concert in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the Moulin à Danses and later that month he recorded his composition Five Tango Sensations, with the Kronos Quartet in the US on an album of the same name. This would be his last studio recording and was his second composition for the Kronos Quartet. His first Four, For Tango had been included in their 1988 album Winter Was Hard. Towards the end of the year he dissolved his sexteto and continued playing solo with classical string quartets and symphonic orchestras. He joined Anahi Carfi's Mantova String Quartet and toured Italy and Finland with them.

His 1982 composition, Le grand tango, for cello and piano was premiered in New Orleans by the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and the pianist Igor Uriash in 1990 and on July 3 he gave his last concert in Athens, Greece, with the Athens Orchestra of Colours, conducted by Manos Hatzidakis.

He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in Paris on August 4, 1990, which left him in a coma, and died in Buenos Aires, just under two years later on July 4, 1992, without regaining consciousness.

Among his followers, the composer and pianist Fernando Otero[17][18][19][20][21] and Piazzolla's protégé, bandoneonist Marcelo Nisinman, are the best known innovators of the tango music of the new millennium, while Pablo Ziegler, pianist with Piazzolla's second quintet, has assumed the role of principal custodian of nuevo tango, extending the jazz influence in the style. The Brazilian guitarist Sergio Assad has also experimented with folk-derived, complex virtuoso compositions that show Piazzolla's structural influence while steering clear of tango sounds; and Osvaldo Golijov has acknowledged Piazzolla as perhaps the greatest influence on his globally oriented, eclectic compositions for classical and klezmer performers.

Musical style

Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer around 1970

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences.[22] It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th- and 18th-century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation, that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.

With the composition of Adiós Nonino in 1959, Piazzolla established a standard structural pattern for his compositions, involving a formal pattern of fast-slow-fast-slow-coda, with the fast sections emphasizing gritty tango rhythms and harsh, angular melodic figures and the slower sections usually making use of the string instrument in the group and/or Piazzolla's own bandoneon as lyrical soloists. The piano tends to be used throughout as a percussive rhythmic backbone, while the electric guitar either joins in this role or spins filigree improvisations; the double bass parts are usually of little interest, but provide an indispensable rugged thickness to the sound of the ensemble. The quintet of bandoneon, violin, piano, electric guitar and double bass was Piazzolla's preferred setup on two extended occasions during his career, and most critics consider it to be the most successful instrumentation for his works.[23] This is due partly to its great efficiency in terms of sound – it covers or imitates most sections of a symphony orchestra, including the percussion, which is improvised by all players on the bodies of their instruments – and the strong expressive identity it permits each individual musician. With a style that is both rugged and intricate, such a setup augments the compositions' inherent characteristics.

Despite the prevalence of the quintet formation and the ABABC compositional structure, Piazzolla consistently experimented with other musical forms and instrumental combinations. In 1965 an album was released containing collaborations between Piazzolla and Jorge Luis Borges where Borges's poetry was narrated over very avant-garde music by Piazzolla including the use of dodecaphonic (twelve-tone) rows, free non-melodic improvisation on all instruments, and modal harmonies and scales.[24] In 1968 Piazzolla wrote and produced an "", María de Buenos Aires, that employed a larger ensemble including flute, percussion, multiple strings and three vocalists, and juxtaposed movements in Piazzolla's own style with several pastiche numbers ranging from waltz and hurdy-gurdy to a piano/narrator bar-room scena straight out of Casablanca.

By the 1970s Piazzolla was living in Rome, managed by the Italian agent , and exploring a leaner, more fluid musical style drawing on more jazz influence, and with simpler, more continuous forms. Pieces that exemplify this new direction include Libertango and most of the , written in memory of Aníbal Troilo. In the 1980s Piazzolla was wealthy enough, for the first time, to become relatively autonomous artistically, and wrote some of his most ambitious multi-movement works. These included for the virtuoso guitar duo Sergio and Odair Assad; Histoire du Tango, where a flutist and guitarist tell the history of tango in four chunks of music styled at thirty-year intervals; and La Camorra, a suite in three ten-minute movements, inspired by the Neapolitan crime family and exploring symphonic concepts of large-scale form, thematic development, contrasts of texture and massive accumulations of ensemble sound. After making three albums in New York with the second quintet and producer Kip Hanrahan, two of which he described on separate occasions as "the greatest thing I've done", he disbanded the quintet, formed a sextet with an extra bandoneon, cello, bass, electric guitar, and piano, and wrote music for this ensemble that was even more adventurous harmonically and structurally than any of his previous works (Preludio y Fuga; Sex-tet). Had he not suffered an incapacitating stroke on the way to Notre Dame mass in 1990, it is likely that he would have continued to use his popularity as a performer of his own works to experiment in relative safety with even more audacious musical techniques, while possibly responding to the surging popularity of non-Western musics by finding ways to incorporate new styles into his own. In his musical professionalism and open-minded attitude to existing styles he held the mindset of an 18th-century composing performer such as Handel or Mozart, who were anxious to assimilate all national "flavors" of their day into their own compositions, and who always wrote with both first-hand performing experience and a sense of direct social relationship with their audiences. This may have resulted in a backlash amongst conservative tango aficionados in Argentina, but in the rest of the West it was the key to his extremely sympathetic reception among classical and jazz musicians, both seeing some of the best aspects of their musical practices reflected in his work.[25]

Musical career

After leaving Troilo's orchestra in the 1940s, Piazzolla led numerous ensembles beginning with the 1946 Orchestra, the 1955 Octeto Buenos Aires, the 1960 "First Quintet", the 1971 Conjunto 9 ("Noneto"), the 1978 "Second Quintet" and the 1989 . As well as providing original compositions and arrangements, he was the director and bandoneon player in all of them. He also recorded the album Summit (Reunión Cumbre) with jazz baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. His numerous compositions include orchestral work such as the Concierto para bandoneón, orquesta, cuerdas y percusión, Doble concierto para bandoneón y guitarra, Tres tangos sinfónicos and Concierto de Nácar para 9 tanguistas y orquesta, pieces for the solo classical guitar – the Cinco Piezas (1980), as well as song-form compositions that still today are well known by the general public in his country, including "Balada para un loco" (Ballad for a madman) and Adiós Nonino (dedicated to his father), which he recorded many times with different musicians and ensembles. Biographers estimate that Piazzolla wrote around 3,000 pieces and recorded around 500.

In 1984 he appeared with his Quinteto Tango Nuevo in West-Berlin, Germany and for television in Utrecht, Netherlands. In the summer of 1985 he performed at the Almeida Theatre in London for a week-long engagement. On September 6, 1987, his quintet gave a concert in New York's Central Park, which was recorded and, in 1994, released in compact disc format as The Central Park Concert.[26]


  • Astor Piazzolla International Airport in Mar del Plata is named after him.
  • Buenos Aires music conservatory "Conservatorio Superior de Música de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires" carries his name



  • Orquesta Típica (in English: Piazzolla's Traditional Orchestra), a.k.a. the 1946 Orchestra, 1946–50.
  • Orquesta de Cuerdas (in English: String Orchestra), 1955–58.
  • Octeto Buenos Aires (in English: Buenos Aires Octet) 1955–58.
  • Jazz Tango Quintet, 1959.
  • Quinteto (in English: Quintet), a.k.a. the first Quintet, 1960–70.
  • Nuevo Octeto (in English: New Octet), 1963.
  • Conjunto 9 (in English: Ensemble 9), a.k.a. Noneto, 1971–72 & 1983.
  • Conjunto Electronico (in English: Electronic Ensemble), a.k.a. Electronic Octet, 1975.
  • Quinteto Tango Nuevo (in English: New Tango Quintet), a.k.a. the second Quintet, 1979–91.
  • Sexteto Nuevo Tango (in English: New Tango Sextet), 1989–91.

Film music


  • Two Argentinians in Paris (with Lalo Schifrin, 1955)
  • Sinfonía de Tango (Orquesta de Cuerdas, 1955)
  • Tango progresivo (Buenos Aires Octeto, 1957)
  • Octeto Buenos Aires (Octeto Buenos Aires, 1957)
  • Astor Piazzolla (Orquesta de Cuerdas, 1957)
  • Tango in Hi-Fi (Orquesta de Cuerdas, 1957)
  • Adiós Nonino (1960)
  • Piazzolla Interpreta A Piazzolla (Quinteto, 1961)
  • Piazzolla ... O No? (canta Nelly Vazquez, Quinteto, 1961)
  • Nuestro Tiempo (canta Hector de Rosas, Quinteto, 1962)
  • Tango Contemporáneo (Nuevo Octeto, 1963)
  • Tango Para Una Ciudad (canta Héctor De Rosas, Quinteto, 1963)
  • Concierto en el Philharmonic Hall de New York (Quinteto, 1965)
  • El Tango. Jorge Luis Borges – Astor Piazzolla (Orquesta and Quinteto, 1965)
  • La Guardia Vieja (1966)
  • La Historia del Tango. La Guardia Vieja (Orquesta, 1967)
  • La Historia del Tango. Época Romántica (Orquesta, 1967)
  • ION Studios (1968)
  • María de Buenos Aires (Orquesta, 1968)
  • Piazzolla En El Regina (Quinteto, 1970)
  • Original Tangos from Argentina Vol. 1 & 2 (solo bandeneon, 1970)
  • Pulsación (Orquesta, 1970)
  • Piazzolla-Troilo (Dúo de Bandoneónes, 1970)
  • Concerto Para Quinteto (Quinteto, 1971)
  • La Bicicleta Blanca (Amelita Baltar y Orquesta, 1971)
  • En Persona (recita Horacio Ferrer, Astor Piazzolla, 1971)
  • Música Popular Contemporánea de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Vol.1 & 2 (Conjunto 9, 1972)
  • Roma (Conjunto 9, 1972)
  • Libertango (Orquesta, 1974)
  • Piazzolla and Amelita Baltar (1974)
  • Summit (Reunión Cumbre) (with Gerry Mulligan, Orquesta, 1974)
  • Suite Troileana-Lumiere (Orquesta, 1975)
  • Buenos Aires (1976)
  • Il Pleut Sur Santiago (Orquesta, 1976)
  • Piazzolla & El Conjunto Electrónico (Conjunto Electrónico, 1976)
  • Piazzolla en el Olimpia de Paris (Conjunto Electrónico, 1977)
  • Chador (1978)
  • Lo Que Vendrá (Orquesta de Cuerdas and Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1979)
  • Piazzolla-Goyeneche En Vivo, Teatro Regina (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1982)
  • Oblivion (Orquesta, 1982)
  • Suite Punta Del Este (Quinteto, 1982)
  • Live in Lugano (Quinteto, 1983)
  • SWF Rundfunkorchester (1983)
  • Concierto de Nácar – Piazzolla en el Teatro Colón (Conjunto 9 y Orquesta Filarmónica del Teatro Colón, 1983)
  • Live in Colonia (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1984)
  • Montreal Jazz Festival (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1984)
  • The Vienna Concert (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1984), CD: 1991.
  • Enrico IV (soundtrack to the film of the same name, 1984)
  • Green Studio (1984)
  • Teatro Nazionale di Milano (1984)
  • El Exilio de Gardel (soundtrack to the film of the same name, Quinteto, 1986)
  • Tango: Zero Hour (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1986)
  • Tristezas de un Doble A (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1986), Vienna, Konzerthaus, CD: 1991.
  • Central Park Concert (Quinteto, 1987)
  • Concierto para Bandoneón – Tres Tangos with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Lalo Schifrin (conductor), Princeton University (1987)
  • El Nuevo Tango. Piazzolla y Gary Burton (Atlantic, 1987)[27]
  • Sur (soundtrack of film Sur, Quinteto, 1988)
  • Live in Tokyo 1988 (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1988)
  • Luna. Live in Amsterdam (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1989)
  • Lausanne Concert (Sexteto Nuevo Tango, 1989)
  • Live at the BBC (Sexteto Nuevo Tango, 1989)
  • La Camorra (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1989)
  • Hommage a Liege: Concierto para bandoneón y guitarra/Historia del Tango (1988) with Liège Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leo Brouwer. The concerto was performed by Piazzolla with Cacho Tirao, the Historia by Guy Lukowski and Marc Grawels.
  • Bandoneón Sinfónico (1990)
  • The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Tango apasionado) (1991)
  • Five Tango Sensations (Astor Piazzolla and the Kronos Quartet, 1991)
  • Original Tangos from Argentina (1992)
  • Lausanne Concert (Sexteto Nuevo Tango, 1993)
  • Central Park Concert 1987 (Quinteto, 1994)
  • El Nuevo Tango de Buenos Aires (Quinteto, 1995)
  • 57 Minutos con la Realidad (Sexteto Nuevo Tango, 1996)
  • Tres Minutos con la Realidad (Sexteto Nuevo Tango, 1997)


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (July 6, 1992). "Astor Piazzolla, 71, Tango's Modern Master, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Azzi, María Susana; Collier, Simon (2000-01-01). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780195127775.
  3. ^ Azzi, María Susana; Collier, Simon (2000-01-01). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 9780195127775.
  4. ^ Azzi, María Susana; Collier, Simon (2000-01-01). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. p. 4. ISBN 9780195127775.
  5. ^ Azzi, María Susana; Collier, Simon (2000-01-01). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. p. 5. ISBN 9780195127775.
  6. ^ For an essay concerning Piazzolla's musical activities in New York, see David Butler Cannata, "Making it there: Piazzolla's New York Concerts," Latin American Music Review/Revista de Músico Latinoamericana XXVI/1 (Spring/Summer 2005), 57–87; and as translated into Spanish, "Making it there: Los Conciertos de Piazzolla en Nueva York," Estudios sobre la obra musical de Astor Piazzolla (Buenos Aires, 2008). For Cannata's review of the Azzi/Collier biography, see "Two books about Piazzolla: Reviews of Le Grand Tango, A Biography of Astor Piazzolla by Maria Azzi and Simon Collier; and Astor Piazzolla, El Luchador del Tango by Mitsumasa Saito." Free Reed Journal III (2001), 89–92.
  7. ^ Todo Tango – La amistad de Gardel y Piazzolla Archived March 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b c d Azzi, María Susana; Collier, Simon (2000-01-01). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780195127775.
  9. ^ Azzi, María Susana; Collier, Simon (2000-01-01). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780195127775.
  10. ^ Collier, María Susana Azzi; Simon (2000). Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 0195127773.
  11. ^ "Astor Piazzolla – Piazzolla: Libertango CD". CD Universe. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Reunion Cumbre (Summit) Archived 2011-05-20 at the Wayback Machine, Songs.
  13. ^ Piazzolla, Astor (1998). A manera de memorias. Libros Perfil. p. 85. ISBN 950-08-0920-6.
  14. ^ Also has been nominated for the Grammy Award.
  15. ^ Also received the César Award.
  16. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuy51H55Fns&list=PL3tFrp-3cLmp6PyYyP9_bjkwpVV527IMq&pbjreload=10
  17. ^ John Sunier. "Fernando Otero – Pagina de Buenos Aires – Nonesuch". Audiophile Audition. Archived from the original on April 13, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2008.
  18. ^ "Fernando Otero Wins Latin Grammy Award". Nonesuch Records. November 15, 2010.
  19. ^ Andrew Chatfield (April 13, 2012). "'Tango on Steroids': Virtuoso Pianist Graces Wesleyan Stage". Patch.
  20. ^ Frank J. Oteri (March 12, 2013). "Sounds Heard: Fernando Otero – Romance". NewMusicBox.
  21. ^ Vivian Schweitzer (February 25, 2008). "Music Review: Kronos Quartet – Premieres Range in Palette From Balkans to Argentina". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Carlos Kuri: Piazzolla: la música límite. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 1997.
  23. ^ See Kuri (ibid); also Natalio Gorin, Piazzolla: A Memoir, Amadeus Press 2001.
  24. ^ El Tango, Polygram S.A. LP 24260 / Polydor 829866-2, 1965, Argentina (currently out of print).
  25. ^ See Azzi and Collier, Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla, Oxford University Press, 2000.
  26. ^ "The Central Park Concert". Piazzolla.org. 1987-09-06. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  27. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.

External links

Read more on Wikipedia.org

Joe HisaishiTheme from Princess Mononoke

Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守, Fujisawa Mamoru, born December 6, 1950), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲, Hisaishi Jō), is a Japanese composer and musical director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.[1] Hisaishi is also known for his piano scores.[2][better source needed]

While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and conductor.

He has been associated with animator Hayao Miyazaki since 1984, having composed scores for all but one of his films. He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, including A Scene at the Sea (1991), Sonatine (1993), Kids Return (1996), Hana-bi (1997), Kikujiro (1999), and Dolls (2002), as well for the video game series Ni no Kuni. He was a student of anime composer Takeo Watanabe.[citation needed]

Life and career

Early life

Hisaishi was born in Nakano, Nagano, Japan, as Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守, Fujisawa Mamoru). When he started learning violin in the Violin School Suzuki Shinichi at the age of four, he found his passion in music. At the same age, he also began watching 300 movies a year with his father, which influenced his career.[3] Realizing his love, he attended the Kunitachi College of Music in 1969 to major in music composition. Hisaishi collaborated with minimalist artists as a typesetter, furthering his experience in the musical world.

He enjoyed his first success of the business in 1974 when he composed music for the anime series called Gyatoruzu. This and other early works were created under his given name. During this period, he composed for Sasuga no Sarutobi (Academy of Ninja) and Futari Daka (A Full Throttle).

In the 1970s, Japanese popular music, electronic music, and new-age music flourished; those genres, as well as the Yellow Magic Orchestra (a Japanese electronic band in 1978–1983), influenced Hisaishi's compositions. He developed his music from minimalist ideas and expanded toward orchestral work. Around 1975, Hisaishi presented his first public performance, spreading his name around his community. Also, from 1978, he had worked for Brass Compositions for a long time. His first album, MKWAJU, was released in 1981, with Information being released a year later. His first major anime scores were Hajime Ningen Gyatoruz (1974) and Robokko Beeton (1976).

As his works were becoming well known, Hisaishi formulated an alias inspired by Quincy Jones, the American musician and producer. Retranscribed in Japanese, "Quincy Jones" became "Joe Hisaishi". ("Quincy", pronounced "Kuinshī” in Japanese, can be written using the same kanji in "Hisaishi"; "Joe" comes from "Jones".)[4]

1981–98: Anime film industry

In 1981 Hisaishi, with his new name, released his first album of art music, MKWAJU, and in 1982 the electropop-minimalist album Information. Then, in 1983, Hisaishi was recommended by Tokuma, who had published Information, to create an image album for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Hisaishi and the director of the animated film, Hayao Miyazaki, became great friends and would work together on many future projects.

In 1985, he founded his own recording studio—the wonder station. Their collaboration has invited comparisons to the collaborations of Steven Spielberg and John Williams. This big break led to Hisaishi's overwhelming success as a composer of film scores. In 1986, Laputa: Castle in the Sky would be the first feature to appear under the Studio Ghibli banner, and its gentle, faintly melancholic tone would become a familiar trademark of much of the studio's later output.[5] And later, in the 1990s, Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke were released. As Hisaishi strengthened his reputation as one of the budding anime industry's top musical contributors, his compositions (including eight theatrical films and one OAV) would proceed to become some of the very hallmarks of early anime in the 1980s and 1990s. Hisaishi also composed for such TV and movie hits as Sasuga no Sarutobi, Two Down Full Base, Tonde Mon Pe and the anime Tekuno porisu 21C (all 1982), Sasuraiger (1983), Futari Taka (1984), Honō no Alpen Rose (1985) and Oz no mahôtsukai (1986). He also scored the sci-fi adventure series Mospeada (1983), which was later reworked (without his music) into the third segment of Carl Macek's compilation, Robotech. Other films he scored included Mobile Suit Gundam Movie II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1981), Mobile Suit Gundam Movie III: Encounters in Space, (1982), Birth (Bâsu) (1984), Arion (1986), Robot Carnival (1987), Totoro (1988), Crest of the Royal Family and Maison Ikkoku – Apartment Fantasy (both 1988), Venus Wars (1989), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992) and Ocean Heaven (2010). He also did theme song arrangements and composed other anime opening, closing, and insert title theme songs such as Mahō Shōjo Lalabel (1980), Hello! Sandybell (1981), Meiken Jolie (1981), Voltron (1981), Ai Shite Knight (1983), Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel: Curtain Call (1986), and Kimagure Orange Road: The Movie (1988).

As more exposure was given to Hisaishi and the anime industry, his career grew. He initiated a solo career, began to produce music, and created his own label (Wonder Land Inc.) in 1988. A year later, Hisaishi released his solo album Pretender as the first album under the new label.

1998–2004: Worldwide success

In 1998, Hisaishi provided the soundtrack to the 1998 Winter Paralympics. The following year, he composed the music for the third installment in a series of popular computer-animated educational films about the human body. Again in 1999, he composed the score for the Takeshi Kitano film Kikujiro, whose title track Summer went on to become one of Hisaishi's most recognizable compositions.

In 2001, Hisaishi produced music for another Kitano film, Brother, and Hayao Miyazaki's animated film, Spirited Away. He also served as executive producer of the Night Fantasia 4 Movement at the Japan Expo in Fukushima 2001. On October 6, Hisaishi made his debut as a film director in Quartet, having also written both its music and script. The film received excellent reviews at the Montreal Film Festival. His first soundtrack for a foreign film, Le Petit Poucet, was released in the same year.

Hisaishi in Kraków, 2011

Another Miyazaki film, Howl's Moving Castle, for which Hisaishi composed the score, was released on November 20, 2004, in Japan. From November 3 to 29, 2004, Hisaishi embarked on his "Joe Hisaishi Freedom – Piano Stories 2004" tour with Canadian musicians. In 2005, he composed the soundtrack for the Korean film, Welcome to Dongmakgol (웰컴 투 동막골). He also partook in Korea's historically landmarked big budget drama series production by composing the soundtrack for Korea's MBC drama series, The Legend (태왕사신기 "The Story of the First King's Four Gods"), which released in 2007. Hisaishi has a large fan base in Korea due to the popularity of Miyazaki films.


In 2006, Hisaishi released a studio album, Asian X.T.C.,[6] the compositions of which demonstrated a significantly eclectic and contemporary Eastern style. The erhu player of the Chinese band 12 Girls Band Zhan Li Jun played in a live concert featuring music from that album. The following year, he composed and recorded the soundtrack for Frederic Lepage's film, Sunny and the Elephant and the Miyazaki film, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, both released in 2008, as well as the score for Jiang Wen's film, The Sun Also Rises (太阳照常升起).[7]

In 2008, Hisaishi composed soundtracks for Academy Award-winning film Departures[8] as well as for I'd Rather Be a Shellfish (私は貝になりたい, Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai), a post-World War II war crimes trial drama which is based on the 1959 Tetsutaro Kato novel and film currently being remade and directed by Katsuo Fukuzawa, starring Masahiro Nakai and Yukie Nakama.

In August 2008 he arranged and performed in a concert conducting the World Dream Symphony Orchestra,[9] and playing the piano on the occasion of his having worked for 25 years with the Animations of Hayao Miyazaki.[10] This concert featured over 1200 musicians and sold out the world-famous Budokan.[11]

Hisaishi also released a solo album in early 2009 featuring tracks from Shellfish and Departures.

In 2010, he became an invited professor for Japanese National College of Music.[12]

In 2013, Hisaishi composed the score for the NHK wildlife documentary Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid (世界初撮影! 深海の超巨大イカ),[13][14] featuring the first-ever filming of this reclusive creature (narrated by David Attenborough for BBC's Natural World special Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible).[15]

On June 28, 2013, Hisaishi was among those invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This honor is extended to those "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures."[16]


In 2016, he was inaugurated as art director of Nagano City Art Museum.[17]

In 2017 he performed three concerts in Paris based on his setup for the 25-year Ghibli collaboration anniversary concert, performed in Palais des Congrès de Paris.[18]

In May 2018, Hisaishi performed five sold-out concerts in his North American debut in California, USA at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts with Symphony Silicon Valley.[19]

He also composed the soundtrack for the TBS Nichiyō Gekijō drama In This Corner of the World.[20]


On February 21, 2020, Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi was released through Decca Gold.[21][22] The album includes 28 compositions released over the course of his career.

Awards and recognition

As a result of his work throughout the years, Hisaishi has won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Music seven times—in 1992,[23] 1993,[24] 1994,[25] 1999,[26] 2000,[27] 2009,[28] and 2011.[29] He also received the 48th Newcomer Award in 1997 from the Ministry of Education (Public Entertainment Section) among numerous other awards, being recognized as an influential figure in the Japanese film industry. In 1998 he won the Art Choice Award for New Artist (Popular Performing Arts Division). In 2005, he won the 31st Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Music Prize at "Howl's Moving Castle. In 2008, he received the 10th International Film Music Critics Association Award for Television Division Best Original Score Award in the music of Korean drama Queen Shikigami.

In November 2009, he was awarded with a Medal of Honour with purple ribbon by the Government of Japan.[30][31]



  1. ^ Joe Hisaishi film score concerts – People's Daily Online Archived 6 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine. English.peopledaily.com.cn (23 July 2013). Retrieved on 12 May 2014.
  2. ^ Bosier, Jen. "Joe Hisaishi Discusses Soundtrack for 'Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch'". Forbes. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  3. ^ Japanese, Love (2018-08-12). "Joe Hisaishi - The Composer Behind Studio Ghibli Songs & Music". Love Japanese - Japanese Language & Culture Blog. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  4. ^ Joe Hisaishi// Who's Who // Archived November 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Nausicaa.net. Retrieved on 2015-08-18.
  5. ^ "Looking back at Laputa: Castle In The Sky". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on March 12, 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  6. ^ "UPCI-1051 | Asian X.T.C. / Joe Hisaishi - VGMdb". vgmdb.net. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  7. ^ "A Flight Through the Music of Joe Hisaishi". bachtrack.com. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  8. ^ https://plus.google.com/110686239645171179005. "Joe Hisaishi Announces Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi (Feb 21, Decca Gold)". Shore Fire Media. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  9. ^ "World Dream Orchestra". New Japan Philharmonic. New Japan Philharmonic. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Joe Hisaishi Special Gala Concert". The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema. Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Joe Hisaishi". www.seattlesymphony.org. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  12. ^ "Joe Hisaishi's Music Future - Programs | National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)". www.npac-weiwuying.org. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  13. ^ "The Giant Squid, Captured on Camera in its Natural Habitat for the First Time Ever!" (PDF). NHK. 9 January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  14. ^ 幻の深海巨大生物. NHK (in Japanese). NHK. Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. 音楽・久石譲 演奏・東京ニューシティ管弦楽団。
  15. ^ BBC Two – Natural World, 2013–2014, Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible – Natural World Special Archived 27 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Bbc.co.uk (23 March 2014). Retrieved on 12 May 2014.
  16. ^ Academy Invites 276 to Membership Archived 1 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Oscars.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Studio Ghibli Concert Program". Issuu. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  18. ^ "Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert". Overlook Events. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert - Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki - San Jose Theaters". sanjosetheaters.org. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  20. ^ "In This Corner of the World Gets Live Action Series". MANGA.TOKYO. 8 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  21. ^ Twitter, Gary Graff ggraff@medianewsgroup com; @GraffonMusic on. "New Music: Royce 5'9", Ozzy Osbourne, Chainsmokers, Grimes and more..." The Oakland Press. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  22. ^ https://plus.google.com/110686239645171179005. "Joe Hisaishi Announces Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi (Feb 21, Decca Gold)". Shore Fire Media. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  23. ^ 第15回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on February 21, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  24. ^ 第16回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on February 21, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  25. ^ 第17回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on February 22, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  26. ^ 第22回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  27. ^ 第23回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  28. ^ 第32回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  29. ^ 第34回日本アカデミー賞優秀作品 (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  30. ^ "678 individuals, 24 groups awarded Medals of Honor". Mainichi Shimbun. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 3 November 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  31. ^ "Ghibli Composer Joe Hisaishi Awarded Medal of Honour". Anime News Network. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.

External links

Read more on Wikipedia.org

Du Yun"under a tree: an udātta” for violin and tape

Du Yun (traditional Chinese: 杜韻, simplified Chinese: 杜韵) is a Chinese born composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and performance artist. She won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her opera Angel's Bone, with libretto by Royce Vavrek.[1] She was a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.[2] Du Yun was named as one of the 38 Great Immigrants by the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2018,[3] and received a 2019 Grammy nomination in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Composition for her work Air Glow.[4] [5][6]

Early life and education

Du Yun was born in Shanghai, China. She began studying piano at the age of four, attending the primary school Shanghai Conservatory of Music for piano. She studied composition at the middle school Shanghai Conservatory of Music with Deng Erbo. Du Yun later moved to the United States and graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in composition, under Randolph Coleman, and received a Ph.D. in music composition from Harvard University, with Bernard Rands, Mario Davidovsky.

On her earlier years growing up in Shanghai, Du Yun recounted, in her contribution to WQXR, that neither of her parents went to college and both were factory workers in China.[7]

“An indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge.” The New York Times has called Du Yun a leading figure in China’s new generation of composers, and her music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras and organizations.

-The New York Times

Du Yun's music growth in China

When Du Yun studied in junior high school in Shanghai, she collected cassette tapes from singer Faye Wong, Chen Sheng, Dou Wei, and Michael Jackson. She counts Dou Wei and Wang Fei (Faye Wong) the two Chinese pop musicians among who have had the most influences on her music life. She credits filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai as one of the major influences that impacted her styles.[8]

The music of Du Yun, who won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2017, is difficult to classify, including aspects of, to quote her own website, "orchestral [music], opera, chamber music, theatre, cabaret, pop music, oral tradition, visual arts, electronics and noise."

-All Music

Du Yun

When she studied in high school, she began to spend pocket money to buy CDs that had beautiful album covers. Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, Sinead O’Connor and Kraftwerk entered her world all at once. She indulged in Krautrock, and psychedelic rock.

During her first year of college, British band Portishead released a new album, and Du Yun fell into the world of trip-hop. Her psychedelic style was later used in many of her works, and in 2012, she released her first studio album, Shark in You, which featured a variety of styles, from experimental dance music to cabaret and jazz electronic music.

Director Stan Lai has collaborated with Du Yun twice. He said her music not only has the background of classical music, but also is multifaceted, influenced by pop and folk music.[9]


In my mind, I don’t discern whether it’s in English or in Chinese. I remember when I first came here, in my early years, I realized that this word was in English or this word was in Chinese, but I no longer have those differences anymore.

- Du Yun[10]

When Du Yun won the Pulitzer for her opera Angel's Bone in 2017, it made her the first Asian woman to win this prize in music.[11] The opera's production in Hong Kong in 2018 won the best of the performances of the year by the South China Morning Post.[12]

From 2014-2018, Du Yun was the Artistic Director of the MATA Festival in New York City.

In 2006, Du Yun joined the composition faculty at the State University of New York-Purchase. In 2017, she joined the composition faculty at Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.[13] She is the Professor of Composition at Peabody.[14] In 2017, she was also appointed as the distinguished visiting professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.[15][16]

In 2020, China's leading record label Modern Sky announced its three-year record deal with Du Yun. [17]

Du Yun lives and works from New York City. She uses her whole name Du Yun, not Du, for professional and personal uses.


Her works include compositions for solo instruments, electroacoustic music, chamber music, orchestral works, opera, indie pop, punk, theatre, oral tradition music, sound installations, and performance art pieces. Du's works have been performed internationally in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Salle Pleyel Paris, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Escola de Música do Estado in São Paulo, the Darmstädter Ferienkurse in Germany, and London Southbank Centre. She has written for the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the LA Philharmonic, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and solo artists Hilary Hahn and Matt Haimovitz.

She has been selected by the National Public Radio as one of the 100 most influential young composers under 40 in 2011. The Washington Post listed her as one of top 35 female composers in classical music.

I think artists should have the absolute freedom to work with however they want and however they wish to express. I also think that creating works engaging social topics is equally important and those things are not exclusive. More and more, I am concerned about human condition. Art just happen to be the means I know how to engage.

- Du Yun[18]

Theatrical works

On April 10, 2017, she was awarded Pulitzer Prize for Music for her second opera, Angel's Bone.[19][20][21][22] The citation for the prize reads: "Premiered on January 6, 2016, at the Prototype Festival, 3LD Arts and Technology Center, New York City, a bold operatic work that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world. Libretto by Royce Vavrek."[23]

She is the composer of the musical Dim Sum Warriors, based on a graphic novel and bilingual iPad app series about Kung Fu-fighting dumplings by the Singaporean filmmaker, satirist and cartoonist Colin Goh and Yenyen Woo.[24] Dim Sum Warrior was made into a Chinese musical which was produced by Stan Lai. The musical debuted on Aug 11, 2017, to sold-out audiences at Theatre Above in Shanghai, and went on to tour in 25 major cities in China the following year.[25]

As a performing artist

Du Yun at rehearsal

Du Yun's performing persona on stage has been called "utterly extraordinary, unrestrained performance."[26]

Ok Miss 完美错

As a bandleader, Du Yun leads her band Ok Miss. A band with amorphous styles. According to The New Yorker, the one predictable thing about Du Yun, is her unpredictability. Dig deeper, though, and you can sense the conjoined strands of curiosity and compassion that run through everything she makes. On the first two nights of her Stone residency, her art-pop band, OK Miss, ventures through breathy Chinese pop, seductive trip-hop, and metallic skronk.[27]

Performances in the visual art world

Du Yun has done works for the Guangzhou Triennial,[28] The Shanghai Project,[29] Cordoba Contemporary Arts Center,[30] and the Sharjah Biennial.

“Practice means many things to me simultaneously, together. It means artistic practice, though not what I sing, play on piano, or write down on the staff. It has to do with critical thinking. How do I think about my relationship to working and what does the end product mean? How do you train — or trick — the mind to keep tackling your work in diverse ways to expand the ways that people think. It’s about an approach.”

- Du Yun[18]

Social causes

Du Yun is an advocate for women, racial equality and social justice. In an interview with National Public Radio on the gender issue in classical music, she said: "I think this is the issue — larger and deeper than the debate of discrimination at hand. Any sustainable and viable career paths cannot and should not depend on a few people's luck."[31] Speaking to Foreign Policy on art's power in politics, she said: “A lot of times politics, global issues, are very black and white... There is a place for that, but it's also fantastic to have art side by side, from different viewpoints open for interpretations.”[32]

Curatorial outputs

Du Yun founded and curated the Pan Asia Sounding Festival at National Sawdust in March 2018, as part of the Spring Revolution.[33] “I want to demystify Asian culture. I want to question who owns the culture and bring together the divisions we have in society,” she told the New York News Channel PIX11.[34]


Du Yun started a global initiative FutureTradition to advocate folk arts and promote cross regional collaborations. The works are with many collaborations cross-regions.[35] When All About Jazz covered her keynote speech for the European Jazz Conference in 2019, Ian Patterson wrote:

Du highlighted Chinese opera and the Indian raga as examples of art forms whose traditions have been built on cultural and linguistic hybridity -the ever-evolving influence of geography and time. She could just as well have been talking about jazz. Culture, Du intimated, has always been about the embrace of new ideas. It was no contradiction in terms when Du called for both reverence and irreverence towards folk traditions.[36]

Critical reception

Du Yun is regarded as "leading force on the New York Scene,"[37] "one of China's leading young composers."[38] Her onstage performing persona has been described as "adventurously eclectic" and "an indie diva with avant garde edge"[39] by The New York Times. She was named one of the top 35 female composers in classical music by The Washington Post.[40] Her album "Angel's Bone" and "Dinosaur Scar" are listed as Top Recordings of The Year in both 2017 and 2018 by the New Yorker.[41][42] Her work for Jennifer Koh "Give Me Back My Fingerprints" is listed as Top 25 Classical Music Tracks of 2019 by the New York Times.[43]

In its decade review, UK's Classical FM listed her winning of Pulitzer as No.6 in "10 ways the 2010s changed classical music forever."[44] Rolling Stone Italia named her as one of the women composers who defined the 2010s decade.[45]



Studio albums



Notable collaborations include with visual artist Shahzia Sikander, flutist Claire Chase, and librettist Royce Vavrek.

Honors and recognitions


  1. ^ Robin, William (13 April 2017). "What Du Yun's Pulitzer Win Means for Women in Classical Music". Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018 – via www.newyorker.com.
  2. ^ "Guggenheim Foundation Announces 2018 Fellows". www.artforum.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  3. ^ https://www.carnegie.org/programs/great-immigrants/
  4. ^ "61st GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees & Winners List". GRAMMY.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "2019 GRAMMY Nominations: See the Complete List". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "2019 Grammys: The full list of winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Composers and Their Dads: A Father's Day Special". wqxr.org. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Man is the weaker sex:《天使之骨》的人性平庸與邪惡 | 鄭子健". 香港獨立媒體網. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "赖声川+杜韵:音乐是如何玩出来的?". www.sohu.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Stay Thirsty Magazine". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "Pulitzer Prize for Music winner Du Yun to present". www.info.gov.hk. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "The best stage shows of 2018, from Evita to an Irish Swan Lake". South China Morning Post. December 28, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2017-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Du Yun | Peabody Institute". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Top Chinese, U.S. music schools team up for contemporary music institute - Xinhua - English.news.cn". news.xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Berklee and Shanghai Conservatory of Music Establish Institute - Berklee College of Music". www.berklee.edu. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  17. ^ http://epaper.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202009/01/WS5f4d9f90a310d95bf733ed3f.html
  18. ^ a b "Inside the mind of the artist: Du Yun". Southbank Centre. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "The Pulitzer Prize". www.pulitzer.org. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Du Yun's 'Angel's Bone' Wins Pulitzer Prize For Music". npr.org. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Du Yun Awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music". newmusicbox.org. 10 April 2017. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  22. ^ Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna da (1 January 2018). "Review: In 'Angel's Bone,' Terrified Seraphim at the Mercy of Mortals". Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  23. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes". September 18, 2017. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "Dim Sum Warriors". Colin and Yen Yen. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  25. ^ hermesauto (19 August 2017). "Kungfu dim sum musical written by Singaporean couple takes off in Shanghai". straitstimes.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  26. ^ Lentjes, Rebecca (2 November 2017). "A Catalyst, an interview with Du Yun". Van Magazine.
  27. ^ "9 11 Memorial Concerts". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "The Unseen: the Fourth Guangzhou Triennial - Announcements - e-flux". www.e-flux.com. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Du Yun - 上海种子". shanghai-project.org. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  30. ^ "De la densidad a lo ténue. Du Yun y Claire Chase en concierto - Actividad - Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía". www.c3a.es. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Looking For Women's Music At The Symphony? Good Luck!". npr.org. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  32. ^ "Opera Composer Thrusts Grim World of Human Trafficking Back Into the Spotlight". foreignpolicy.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  33. ^ Simon, Alexandra (March 2018). "Sounds of spring: Composer creates a Pan-Asian music festival". Brooklyn Paper.
  34. ^ Hickey, Magee (10 March 2018). "Pan Asia Sounding Festival celebrates the voices of multicultural women". PIX11.
  35. ^ "Ali Sethi to feature in Times Square Christmas display". Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  36. ^ "European Jazz Conference 2019". Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  37. ^ Allen, David (November 8, 2018). "8 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend". Retrieved October 14, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  38. ^ Kozinn, Allan (July 2012). "Made in China, With Plenty Of Western Parts". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08.
  39. ^ Kozinn, Allan (July 2014). "Peak Performances to Offer 14 Premieres". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-07-18.
  40. ^ Midgette, Anne (August 2017). "The top 35 female composers in classical music". The Washington Post.
  41. ^ Ross, Alex. "Notable Performances and Recordings of 2018". The New Yorker.
  42. ^ Ross, Alex (December 11, 2017). "Notable Performances and Recordings of 2017" – via www.newyorker.com.
  43. ^ Tommasini, Anthony; Woolfe, Zachary; Barone, Joshua; Walls, Seth Colter; Allen, David (December 12, 2019). "The 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2019" – via NYTimes.com.
  44. ^ Macdonald, Kyle. "10 ways the 2010s changed classical music forever". classicfm.
  45. ^ Todesco, Claudio (December 31, 2019). "È stato il decennio delle compositrici". RollingStone Italy.
  46. ^ "Where We Lost Our Shadows (part of DIRECT CURRENT) - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts". www.kennedy-center.org. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  47. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (April 12, 2019). "Review: A Refugee Journey Inspires a Musical Collaboration". Retrieved October 14, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  48. ^ "Du Yun. Shanghai Project Chapter 2, 2017. Eröffnungsperformance". universes.art. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  49. ^ ""见所未见"——第四届广州三年展主题展". artspy.cn. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  50. ^ "Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Disruption as Rapture". www.philamuseum.org. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  51. ^ "Karachi Biennale's popular choice — 'Disruption as Rapture'". Daily Times. November 10, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  52. ^ "Shahzia Sikander, Parallax | Guggenheim Museum Bilbao". Guggenheim Bilbao. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  53. ^ "Sikander's animated art evokes worlds of uncertainty - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  54. ^ ""The Last Post," video by Shahzia Sikander with score composed and performed live by Du Yun". www.pamm.org. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  55. ^ "Du Yun". GRAMMY.com. May 12, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  56. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  57. ^ "Sounds Heard: Du Yun—Shark In You". newmusicusa.org. 31 May 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  58. ^ "Shark In You: Shark in You". Retrieved October 14, 2019 – via www.youtube.com.
  59. ^ "CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SOLO OR CHAMBER | Matt Haimovitz". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  60. ^ "Hilary Hahn". GRAMMY.com. June 4, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  61. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2011-06-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  62. ^ "Classical Commissioning Program - Chamber Music America". www.chamber-music.org. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  63. ^ "Philadelphia Music Project Awards Grants to 19 Local Music Organizations". pew.org. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  64. ^ "Elaine Lebenbom Award Winners". www.dso.org. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  65. ^ exhibit-e.com. "Du Yun - Fellows - Civitella Ranieri". www.civitella.org. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  66. ^ "NYSCA/NYFA ARTIST FELLOWS 1985-PRESENT". Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  67. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Du Yun". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  68. ^ "July Fourth Tribute Honors 38 Distinguished Immigrants". www.carnegie.org. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  69. ^ "俄BraVo音乐大奖中国得主:艺术家应让人们认识到世界上不仅存在政治冲突". sputniknews.cn. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  70. ^ "Opera America Announces Opera Grants For Female Composers". broadwayworld. Retrieved Nov 1, 2019.
  71. ^ "《今日音乐》专访 BMF年度艺术家 杜韵". MusicToday.cn. Retrieved October 30, 2019.

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Media related to Du Yun at Wikimedia Commons

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Clara SchumannRomance for Violin and Piano

The Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22 of Clara Schumann, were written in 1853 and first published in 1855.


Having moved to Düsseldorf in 1853, Clara Schumann, who said that "Women are not born to compose," produced several works, including these three romances.[1] Dedicated to the legendary violinist Joseph Joachim, Schumann and Joachim went on tour with them, even playing them before King George V of Hanover, who was "completely ecstatic" upon hearing them.[2] A critic for the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung praised them, declaring: "All three pieces display an individual character conceived in a truly sincere manner and written in a delicate and fragrant hand."[2] Stephen Pettitt for The Times, wrote, "Lush and poignant, they make one regret that Clara's career as a composer became subordinate to her husband's."[3]


The romances, scored for violin and piano, are written in three movements:

  1. Andante molto
  2. Allegretto
  3. Leidenschaftlich schnell

The first romance begins with hints of gypsy pathos, before a brief central theme with energetic arpeggios ensues.[4] This is followed by a final section similar to the first, in which Clara Schumann charmingly refers to the main theme from her husband Robert Schumann's first violin sonata.[5] The second romance is more wistful, with many embellishments. It is sometimes considered as representative of all three, beginning with a plaintive appetizer to its energetic, extroverted leaps and arpeggios, followed by a more developed section with the first theme present.[6] The last movement, while very similar to the first but approximately the same length in time as the first two, features long-limbed melodies with rippling, bubbling piano accompaniment.[7]

An average performance is about ten minutes in duration.


  1. ^ "Schumann, Clara: Three Romances for Violin, Op. 22". Tim Summers, violinist. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b Rodda, Dr. Richard E. "Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Sunday, April 27, 2014" (PDF). Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. ^ Pettitt, Stephen (27 January 2013). "Record Review". The Times.
  4. ^ "Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22". LAPhil. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  5. ^ Phillips, Anthony. "Robert and Clara Schumann: Music for Cello and Piano". Naxos. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  6. ^ Lowe, Steven. "Seattle Chamber Music Society: Summer Festival, Friday July 12 2013" (PDF). Seattle Chamber Music Society. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  7. ^ Palmer, John. "Romances (3) for violin & piano, Op. 22". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 February 2016.

External Links

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Joni MitchellBlue

"Blue" is the title song from Joni Mitchell's 1971 album of the same name. There has been persistent speculation that the song is about fellow songwriter David Blue, who was a friend and possible love interest of Mitchell's when the album was released. She has denied the connection.

The lines "acid, booze and ass, needles guns and grass, lots of laughs" from Blue were sampled for a bonus track on Mac Dre's The Genie of the Lamp album. The song is sampled on the track "My World Is..", from Blu and Exile's 2007 album Below the Heavens. The track is also sampled on "Catch My Drift", a 1989 song by the British group A.R. Kane.

Cover versions

External links

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SchubertIntroduction and Variations on "Trockne Blumen"

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GeminianiPrelude for solo violin

Francesco Geminiani.

Francesco Saverio Geminiani (baptised 5 December 1687[1] – 17 September 1762) was an Italian violinist, composer, and music theorist. BBC Radio 3 has described him as "now largely forgotten, but in his time considered almost a musical god, deemed to be the equal of Handel and Corelli."[2]


Born at Lucca, he received lessons in music from Alessandro Scarlatti, and studied the violin under Carlo Ambrogio Lonati in Milan and afterwards under Arcangelo Corelli. From 1707 he took the place of his father in the Cappella Palatina of Lucca. From 1711, he led the opera orchestra at Naples, as Leader of the Opera Orchestra and concertmaster, which gave him many opportunities for contact with Alessandro Scarlatti. After a brief return to Lucca, in 1714, he set off for London in the company of Francesco Barsanti, where he arrived with the reputation of a virtuoso violinist, and soon attracted attention and patrons, including William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex, who remained a consistent patron. In 1715 Geminiani played his violin concerti for the court of George I, with Handel at the keyboard. In the mid-1720s he became a freemason in London, notably as a leading member of the short-lived lodge Philo-Musicae et Architecturae Societas (1725–27) at the Queen's Head tavern on Fleet Street.[3] He seems to have retained his masonic connections thereafter.[4] On 1 February 1725, he joined the Queen's Head lodge in London, becoming the first Italian to be in initiated in the Scottish Rite Freemasonry.[5][6] On 12 May 1725, he became companion and Grand Master in the same day.[7] On 11 May 1728, the Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England William Reid designated the brothers Geminiani for constituting in Naples the first Italian regular masonic Lodge, directly affiliated to the English Freemasonry.[8]

Geminiani made a living by teaching and writing music, and tried to keep pace with his passion for collecting by dealing in art, not always successfully. Many of his students went on to have successful careers, such as Charles Avison, Matthew Dubourg, Michael Christian Festing, Bernhard Joachim Hagen and Cecilia Young. See: List of music students by teacher: G to J#Francesco Geminiani.

After visiting Paris and living there for some time, he returned to England in 1755. In 1761, on one of his sojourns in Dublin, a servant robbed him of a musical manuscript on which he had bestowed much time and labour. His vexation at this loss is said to have hastened his death. He died and was buried in Dublin, but his remains were later reburied in the city of his birth, in the church of San Francesco, Lucca.

He appears to have been a first-rate violinist. His Italian pupils reportedly called him Il Furibondo, the Madman, because of his expressive rhythms.


Geminiani's best-known compositions are three sets of concerti grossi; his Opus 2 (1732), Opus 3 (1733) and Opus 7 (1746) (there are 42 concerti in all) which introduce the viola as a member of the concertino group of soloists, making them essentially concerti for string quartet. These works are deeply contrapuntal to please a London audience still in love with Corelli, compared to the galant work that was fashionable on the Continent at the time of their composition. Geminiani also reworked his teacher Corelli's Opp. 1, 3 and 5 into concerti grossi.

Geminiani's significance today is largely due to his 1751 treatise Art of Playing on the Violin Op. 9, published in London, which is the best known summation of the 18th-century Italian method of violin playing and is an invaluable source for the study of late Baroque performance practice. The book is in the form of 24 exercises accompanied by a relatively short but extremely informative section of text, giving detailed instructions on articulation, trills and other ornaments, shifting between positions, and other aspects of left- and right-hand violin technique. The instructions in this treatise are famously opposed to those expressed by Leopold Mozart in his Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing (1756) on several issues, including on bow hold, use of vibrato, and the so-called "rule of the down-bow", which states that the first beat of every bar must be played with a down-stroke.

His Guida harmonica (c. 1752, with an addendum in 1756) is one of the most unusual harmony treatises of the late Baroque, serving as a sort of encyclopedia of basso continuo patterns and realizations. There are 2,236 patterns in all, and at the end of each pattern is a page number reference for a potential next pattern; thus a student composer studying the book would have an idea of all the subsequent possibilities available after any given short bass line.

Geminiani also published a number of solos for the violin, three sets of violin concerti, twelve violin trios, the Art of Accompaniment on the Harpsichord, Organ, etc. (1754), Lessons for the Harpsichord, Art of Playing on the Guitar or Cittra (1760) and some other works.


Geminiani's compositions are noted for their imagination, expression, and warmth, but also for their lack of discipline and for under-development. Charles Burney took Geminiani to task for irregular melodic structure.[9] Hawkins, on the other hand, was of the opinion that Geminiani's approach represented an important advance in composition. "That we are at this time in a state of emancipation from the bondage of laws imposed without authority, is owing to a new investigation of the principles of harmony, and the studies of a class of musicians, of whom Geminiani seems to have been the chief.... It is observable upon the works of Geminiani, that his modulations are not only original, but that his harmonies consist of such combinations as were never introduced into music till his time. The rules of transition from one key to another, which are laid down by those who have written on the composition of music, he not only disregarded, but objected to as an unnecessary restraint on the powers of invention. He has been frequently heard to say, that the cadences in the fifth, the third, and the sixth of the key which occur in the works of Corelli, were rendered too familiar to the ear by the frequent repetition of them. And it seems to have been the study of his life, by a liberal use of the semitonic intervals, to increase the number of harmonic combinations; and into melody to introduce a greater variety than it was otherwise capable of."[10]


  1. ^ He was possibly born 3 December, the feast day of St Francis Xavier.
  2. ^ "Francesco Geminiani". BBC Online. 25 February 2011.
  3. ^ Pink, Andrew (2010). "A music club for freemasons: Philo-musicae et architecturae societas Apollini, London, 1725–1727". Early Music. 38 (4): 523–536. doi:10.1093/em/caq077.
  4. ^ Pink, Andrew (2013). "Francesco Geminiani and Freemasonry". In Hogwood, C (ed.). Geminiani Studies. Ad Parnassum Studies. 6. Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizione.
  5. ^ Domenico V. Ripa Montesano, Vademecum di Loggia, Rome: Edizione Gran Loggia Phoenix, 2009, ISBN 978-88-905059-0-4.
  6. ^ Vittorio Gnocchini, L'Italia dei Liberi Muratori, Mimesis-Erasmo, Milan-Rome, 2005, p.145.
  7. ^ Louis Trébuchet (24 February 2019). "Les Antédiluviens et les Modernes" (in French).
  8. ^ Ruggero di Castiglione, La Massoneria delle Due Sicilie: I Fratelli Meridionali del '700, Rome: Gangemi Editore, pp. 15–16. ISBN 9788849278903, OCLC 470796156, FRBNF40961084 .
  9. ^ Halbreich, Harry. Concerti Grossi, Op. 7 (LP Record). I Solisti Veneti conducted by Claudio Scimone. New York: Musical Heritage Society. MHS 1142.
  10. ^ Hawkins, John (1776). A General History of the Science and Practice of Music. 5. London: T. Payne & Sons. pp. 389 et seq.
This entry incorporates corrected and expanded material originally from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

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Hildegard von BingenAve Generosa

Hildegard of Bingen OSB (German: Hildegard von Bingen; Latin: Hildegardis Bingensis; 1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard and the Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath of the High Middle Ages.[1][2] She is one of the best-known composers of sacred monophony, as well as the most-recorded in modern history.[3] She has been considered by many in Europe to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.[4]

Hildegard's fellow nuns elected her as magistra in 1136; she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. She wrote theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs for female choirs to sing[2] and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias.[5] There are more surviving chants by Hildegard than by any other composer from the entire Middle Ages, and she is one of the few known composers to have written both the music and the words.[6] One of her works, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.[7] She is also noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota.

Although the history of her formal canonization is complicated, branches of the Roman Catholic Church have recognized her as a saint for centuries. On 10 May 2012, Pope Benedict XVI extended the liturgical cult of St. Hildegard to the entire Catholic Church in a process known as "equivalent canonization". On 7 October 2012, he named her a Doctor of the Church, in recognition of "her holiness of life and the originality of her teaching."[8]


Hildegard was born around the year 1098, although the exact date is uncertain. Her parents were Mechtild of Merxheim-Nahet and Hildebert of Bermersheim, a family of the free lower nobility in the service of the Count Meginhard of Sponheim.[9] Sickly from birth, Hildegard is traditionally considered their youngest and tenth child,[10] although there are records of only seven older siblings.[11][12] In her Vita, Hildegard states that from a very young age she had experienced visions.[13]


From early childhood, long before she undertook her public mission or even her monastic vows, Hildegard's spiritual awareness was grounded in what she called the umbra viventis lucis, the reflection of the living Light. Her letter to Guibert of Gembloux, which she wrote at the age of seventy-seven, describes her experience of this light with admirable precision:

From my early childhood, before my bones, nerves and veins were fully strengthened, I have always seen this vision in my soul, even to the present time when I am more than seventy years old. In this vision my soul, as God would have it, rises up high into the vault of heaven and into the changing sky and spreads itself out among different peoples, although they are far away from me in distant lands and places. And because I see them this way in my soul, I observe them in accord with the shifting of clouds and other created things. I do not hear them with my outward ears, nor do I perceive them by the thoughts of my own heart or by any combination of my five senses, but in my soul alone, while my outward eyes are open. So I have never fallen prey to ecstasy in the visions, but I see them wide awake, day and night. And I am constantly fettered by sickness, and often in the grip of pain so intense that it threatens to kill me, but God has sustained me until now. The light which I see thus is not spatial, but it is far, far brighter than a cloud which carries the sun. I can measure neither height, nor length, nor breadth in it; and I call it "the reflection of the living Light." And as the sun, the moon, and the stars appear in water, so writings, sermons, virtues, and certain human actions take form for me and gleam.[14]

Monastic life

Perhaps because of Hildegard's visions, or as a method of political positioning (or both), Hildegard's parents offered her as an oblate to the Benedictine monastery at the Disibodenberg, which had been recently reformed in the Palatinate Forest. The date of Hildegard's enclosure at the monastery is the subject of debate. Her Vita says she was professed with an older woman, Jutta, the daughter of Count Stephan II of Sponheim, at the age of eight.[15] However, Jutta's date of enclosure is known to have been in 1112, when Hildegard would have been fourteen.[16] Their vows were received by Bishop Otto Bamberg on All Saints' Day, 1112. Some scholars speculate that Hildegard was placed in the care of Jutta at the age of eight, and the two women were then enclosed together six years later.[17]

In any case, Hildegard and Jutta were enclosed together at the Disibodenberg, and formed the core of a growing community of women attached to the male monastery. Jutta was also a visionary and thus attracted many followers who came to visit her at the cloister. Hildegard tells us that Jutta taught her to read and write, but that she was unlearned and therefore incapable of teaching Hildegard sound biblical interpretation.[18] The written record of the Life of Jutta indicates that Hildegard probably assisted her in reciting the psalms, working in the garden and other handiwork, and tending to the sick.[19] This might have been a time when Hildegard learned how to play the ten-stringed psaltery. Volmar, a frequent visitor, may have taught Hildegard simple psalm notation. The time she studied music could have been the beginning of the compositions she would later create.[20]

Upon Jutta's death in 1136, Hildegard was unanimously elected as magistra of the community by her fellow nuns.[21] Abbot Kuno of Disibodenberg asked Hildegard to be Prioress, which would be under his authority. Hildegard, however, wanted more independence for herself and her nuns, and asked Abbot Kuno to allow them to move to Rupertsberg.[22] This was to be a move towards poverty, from a stone complex that was well established to a temporary dwelling place. When the abbot declined Hildegard's proposition, Hildegard went over his head and received the approval of Archbishop Henry I of Mainz. Abbot Kuno did not relent until Hildegard was stricken by an illness that kept her paralyzed and unable to move from her bed, an event that she attributed to God's unhappiness at her not following his orders to move her nuns to a new location in Rupertsberg. It was only when the Abbot himself could not move Hildegard that he decided to grant the nuns their own monastery.[23] Hildegard and about twenty nuns thus moved to the St. Rupertsberg monastery in 1150, where Volmar served as provost, as well as Hildegard's confessor and scribe. In 1165 Hildegard founded a second monastery for her nuns at Eibingen.[24]

Before Hildegard's death, a problem arose with the clergy of Mainz. A man buried in Rupertsburg had died after excommunication from the Church. Therefore, the clergy wanted to remove his body from the sacred ground. Hildegard did not accept this idea, replying that it was a sin and that the man had been reconciled to the church at the time of his death.[25]


Hildegard said that she first saw "The Shade of the Living Light" at the age of three, and by the age of five she began to understand that she was experiencing visions.[26] She used the term 'visio' (the Latin for "vision") to describe this feature of her experience and recognized that it was a gift that she could not explain to others. Hildegard explained that she saw all things in the light of God through the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.[27] Hildegard was hesitant to share her visions, confiding only to Jutta, who in turn told Volmar, Hildegard's tutor and, later, secretary.[28] Throughout her life, she continued to have many visions, and in 1141, at the age of 42, Hildegard received a vision she believed to be an instruction from God, to "write down that which you see and hear."[29] Still hesitant to record her visions, Hildegard became physically ill. The illustrations recorded in the book of Scivias were visions that Hildegard experienced, causing her great suffering and tribulations.[30] In her first theological text, Scivias ("Know the Ways"), Hildegard describes her struggle within:

But I, though I saw and heard these things, refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words, not with stubbornness but in the exercise of humility, until, laid low by the scourge of God, I fell upon a bed of sickness; then, compelled at last by many illnesses, and by the witness of a certain noble maiden of good conduct [the nun Richardis von Stade] and of that man whom I had secretly sought and found, as mentioned above, I set my hand to the writing. While I was doing it, I sensed, as I mentioned before, the deep profundity of scriptural exposition; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close – though just barely – in ten years. (...) And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, 'Cry out, therefore, and write thus!'[31]

It was between November 1147 and February 1148 at the synod in Trier that Pope Eugenius heard about Hildegard's writings. It was from this that she received Papal approval to document her visions as revelations from the Holy Spirit, giving her instant credence.[32]

On 17 September 1179, when Hildegard died, her sisters claimed they saw two streams of light appear in the skies and cross over the room where she was dying.[33]

Vita Sanctae Hildegardis

Hildegard's hagiography, Vita Sanctae Hildegardis, was compiled by the monk Theoderic of Echternach after Hildegard's death.[34] He included the hagiographical work Libellus or "Little Book" begun by Godfrey of Disibodenberg.[35] Godfrey had died before he was able to complete his work. Guibert of Gembloux was invited to finish the work; however, he had to return to his monastery with the project unfinished.[36] Theoderic utilized sources Guibert had left behind to complete the Vita.


Scivias I.6: The Choirs of Angels. From the Rupertsberg manuscript, fol. 38r.

Hildegard's works include three great volumes of visionary theology;[37] a variety of musical compositions for use in liturgy, as well as the musical morality play Ordo Virtutum; one of the largest bodies of letters (nearly 400) to survive from the Middle Ages, addressed to correspondents ranging from popes to emperors to abbots and abbesses, and including records of many of the sermons she preached in the 1160s and 1170s;[38] two volumes of material on natural medicine and cures;[39][40] an invented language called the Lingua ignota ("unknown language");[41] and various minor works, including a gospel commentary and two works of hagiography.[42]

Several manuscripts of her works were produced during her lifetime, including the illustrated Rupertsberg manuscript of her first major work, Scivias (lost since 1945); the Dendermonde Codex, which contains one version of her musical works; and the Ghent manuscript, which was the first fair-copy made for editing of her final theological work, the Liber Divinorum Operum. At the end of her life, and probably under her initial guidance, all of her works were edited and gathered into the single Riesenkodex manuscript.[43]

Visionary theology

Hildegard's most significant works were her three volumes of visionary theology: Scivias ("Know the Ways", composed 1142–1151), Liber Vitae Meritorum ("Book of Life's Merits" or "Book of the Rewards of Life", composed 1158–1163); and Liber Divinorum Operum ("Book of Divine Works", also known as De operatione Dei, "On God's Activity", composed 1163/4–1172 or 1174). In these volumes, the last of which was completed when she was well into her seventies, Hildegard first describes each vision, whose details are often strange and enigmatic, and then interprets their theological contents in the words of the "voice of the Living Light."[44]


The Church, the Bride of Christ and Mother of the Faithful in Baptism. Illustration to Scivias II.3, fol. 51r from the 20th-century facsimile of the Rupertsberg manuscript, c. 1165–1180

With permission from Abbot Kuno of Disibodenberg, she began journaling visions she had (which is the basis for Scivias). Scivias is a contraction of Sci vias Domini (Know the Ways of the Lord), and it was Hildegard's first major visionary work, and one of the biggest milestones in her life. Perceiving a divine command to "write down what you see and hear,"[45] Hildegard began to record and interpret her visionary experiences. In total, 26 visionary experiences were captured in this compilation.[32]

Scivias is structured into three parts of unequal length. The first part (six visions) chronicles the order of God's creation: the Creation and Fall of Adam and Eve, the structure of the universe (famously described as the shape of an "egg"), the relationship between body and soul, God's relationship to his people through the Synagogue, and the choirs of angels. The second part (seven visions) describes the order of redemption: the coming of Christ the Redeemer, the Trinity, the Church as the Bride of Christ and the Mother of the Faithful in baptism and confirmation, the orders of the Church, Christ's sacrifice on the Cross and the Eucharist, and the fight against the devil. Finally, the third part (thirteen visions) recapitulates the history of salvation told in the first two parts, symbolized as a building adorned with various allegorical figures and virtues. It concludes with the Symphony of Heaven, an early version of Hildegard's musical compositions.[46]

In early 1148, a commission was sent by the Pope to Disibodenberg to find out more about Hildegard and her writings. The commission found that the visions were authentic and returned to the Pope, with a portion of the Scivias. Portions of the uncompleted work were read aloud to Pope Eugenius III at the Synod of Trier in 1148, after which he sent Hildegard a letter with his blessing.[47] This blessing was later construed as papal approval for all of Hildegard's wide-ranging theological activities.[48] Towards the end of her life, Hildegard commissioned a richly decorated manuscript of Scivias (the Rupertsberg Codex); although the original has been lost since its evacuation to Dresden for safekeeping in 1945, its images are preserved in a hand-painted facsimile from the 1920s.[5]

Liber Vitae Meritorum

In her second volume of visionary theology, composed between 1158 and 1163, after she had moved her community of nuns into independence at the Rupertsberg in Bingen, Hildegard tackled the moral life in the form of dramatic confrontations between the virtues and the vices. She had already explored this area in her musical morality play, Ordo Virtutum, and the "Book of the Rewards of Life" takes up that play's characteristic themes. Each vice, although ultimately depicted as ugly and grotesque, nevertheless offers alluring, seductive speeches that attempt to entice the unwary soul into their clutches. Standing in our defence, however, are the sober voices of the Virtues, powerfully confronting every vicious deception.[49]

Amongst the work's innovations is one of the earliest descriptions of purgatory as the place where each soul would have to work off its debts after death before entering heaven.[50] Hildegard's descriptions of the possible punishments there are often gruesome and grotesque, which emphasize the work's moral and pastoral purpose as a practical guide to the life of true penance and proper virtue.[51]

Excerpt from the manuscript "Liber divinorum operum". Manufactured in the 12th century. Preserved in the Ghent University Library.[52]

Liber Divinorum Operum

"Universal Man" illumination from Hildegard's Liber Divinorum Operum, I.2. Lucca, MS 1942, early 13th-century copy.

Hildegard's last and grandest visionary work had its genesis in one of the few times she experienced something like an ecstatic loss of consciousness. As she described it in an autobiographical passage included in her Vita, sometime in about 1163, she received "an extraordinary mystical vision" in which was revealed the "sprinkling drops of sweet rain" that John the Evangelist experienced when he wrote, "In the beginning was the Word..." (John 1:1). Hildegard perceived that this Word was the key to the "Work of God", of which humankind is the pinnacle. The Book of Divine Works, therefore, became in many ways an extended explication of the Prologue to John's Gospel.[53]

The ten visions of this work's three parts are cosmic in scale, to illustrate various ways of understanding the relationship between God and his creation. Often, that relationship is established by grand allegorical female figures representing Divine Love (Caritas) or Wisdom (Sapientia). The first vision opens the work with a salvo of poetic and visionary images, swirling about to characterize God's dynamic activity within the scope of his work within the history of salvation. The remaining three visions of the first part introduce the famous image of a human being standing astride the spheres that make up the universe and detail the intricate relationships between the human as microcosm and the universe as macrocosm. This culminates in the final chapter of Part One, Vision Four with Hildegard's commentary on the Prologue to John's Gospel (John 1:1–14), a direct rumination on the meaning of "In the beginning was the Word..." The single vision that constitutes the whole of Part Two stretches that rumination back to the opening of Genesis, and forms an extended commentary on the seven days of the creation of the world told in Genesis 1–2:3. This commentary interprets each day of creation in three ways: literal or cosmological; allegorical or ecclesiological (i.e. related to the Church's history); and moral or tropological (i.e. related to the soul's growth in virtue). Finally, the five visions of the third part take up again the building imagery of Scivias to describe the course of salvation history. The final vision (3.5) contains Hildegard's longest and most detailed prophetic program of the life of the Church from her own days of "womanish weakness" through to the coming and ultimate downfall of the Antichrist.[54]


Attention in recent decades to women of the medieval Church has led to a great deal of popular interest in Hildegard's music. In addition to the Ordo Virtutum, sixty-nine musical compositions, each with its own original poetic text, survive, and at least four other texts are known, though their musical notation has been lost.[55] This is one of the largest repertoires among medieval composers.

One of her better-known works, Ordo Virtutum (Play of the Virtues), is a morality play. It is uncertain when some of Hildegard's compositions were composed, though the Ordo Virtutum is thought to have been composed as early as 1151.[56] It is an independent Latin morality play with music (82 songs); it does not supplement or pay homage to the Mass or the Office of a certain feast. It is, in fact, the earliest known surviving musical drama that is not attached to a liturgy.[6]

The Ordo virtutum would have been performed within Hildegard's monastery by and for her select community of noblewomen and nuns. It was probably performed as a manifestation of the theology Hildegard delineated in the Scivias. The play serves as an allegory of the Christian story of sin, confession, repentance, and forgiveness. Notably, it is the female Virtues who restore the fallen to the community of the faithful, not the male Patriarchs or Prophets. This would have been a significant message to the nuns in Hildegard's convent. Scholars assert that the role of the Devil would have been played by Volmar, while Hildegard's nuns would have played the parts of Anima (the human souls) and the Virtues.[57] The devil's part is entirely spoken or shouted, with no musical setting. All other characters sing in monophonic plainchant. This includes Patriarchs, Prophets, A Happy Soul, A Unhappy Soul and A Penitent Soul along with 16 female Virtues (including Mercy, Innocence, Chasity, Obedience, Hope, and Faith).[58]

In addition to the Ordo Virtutum, Hildegard composed many liturgical songs that were collected into a cycle called the Symphonia armoniae celestium revelationum. The songs from the Symphonia are set to Hildegard's own text and range from antiphons, hymns, and sequences, to responsories.[59] Her music is monophonic, that is, consisting of exactly one melodic line.[60] Its style has been said to be characterized by soaring melodies that can push the boundaries of traditional Gregorian chant, and to stand outside the normal practices of monophonic monastic chant.[61] Researchers are also exploring ways in which it may be viewed in comparison with her contemporaries, such as Hermannus Contractus.[62] Another feature of Hildegard's music that both reflects twelfth-century evolution of chant, and pushes that evolution further, is that it is highly melismatic, often with recurrent melodic units. Scholars such as Margot Fassler, Marianne Richert Pfau, and Beverly Lomer also note the intimate relationship between music and text in Hildegard's compositions, whose rhetorical features are often more distinct than is common in twelfth-century chant.[63] As with all medieval chant notation, Hildegard's music lacks any indication of tempo or rhythm; the surviving manuscripts employ late German style notation, which uses very ornamental neumes.[64] The reverence for the Virgin Mary reflected in music shows how deeply influenced and inspired Hildegard of Bingen and her community were by the Virgin Mary and the saints.[65]

Scientific and medicinal writings

Hildegard of Bingen and her nuns

Hildegard's medicinal and scientific writings, though thematically complementary to her ideas about nature expressed in her visionary works, are different in focus and scope. Neither claim to be rooted in her visionary experience and its divine authority. Rather, they spring from her experience helping in and then leading the monastery's herbal garden and infirmary, as well as the theoretical information she likely gained through her wide-ranging reading in the monastery's library.[40] As she gained practical skills in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, she combined physical treatment of physical diseases with holistic methods centered on "spiritual healing."[66] She became well known for her healing powers involving the practical application of tinctures, herbs, and precious stones.[67] She combined these elements with a theological notion ultimately derived from Genesis: all things put on earth are for the use of humans.[68] In addition to her hands-on experience, she also gained medical knowledge, including elements of her humoral theory, from traditional Latin texts.[66]

Hildegard catalogued both her theory and practice in two works. The first, Physica, contains nine books that describe the scientific and medicinal properties of various plants, stones, fish, reptiles, and animals. This document is also thought to contain the first recorded reference of the usage of hops in beer as a preservative.[69][70] The second, Causae et Curae, is an exploration of the human body, its connections to the rest of the natural world, and the causes and cures of various diseases.[71] Hildegard documented various medical practices in these books, including the use of bleeding and home remedies for many common ailments. She also explains remedies for common agricultural injuries such as burns, fractures, dislocations, and cuts.[66] Hildegard may have used the books to teach assistants at the monastery. These books are historically significant because they show areas of medieval medicine that were not well documented because their practitioners (mainly women) rarely wrote in Latin. Her writings were commentated on by Mélanie Lipinska, a Polish scientist.[72]

In addition to its wealth of practical evidence, Causae et Curae is also noteworthy for its organizational scheme. Its first part sets the work within the context of the creation of the cosmos and then humanity as its summit, and the constant interplay of the human person as microcosm both physically and spiritually with the macrocosm of the universe informs all of Hildegard's approach.[40] Her hallmark is to emphasize the vital connection between the "green" health of the natural world and the holistic health of the human person. Viriditas, or greening power, was thought to sustain human beings and could be manipulated by adjusting the balance of elements within a person.[66] Thus, when she approached medicine as a type of gardening, it was not just as an analogy. Rather, Hildegard understood the plants and elements of the garden as direct counterparts to the humors and elements within the human body, whose imbalance led to illness and disease.[66]

Thus, the nearly three hundred chapters of the second book of Causae et Curae "explore the etiology, or causes, of disease as well as human sexuality, psychology, and physiology."[40] In this section, she gives specific instructions for bleeding based on various factors, including gender, the phase of the moon (bleeding is best done when the moon is waning), the place of disease (use veins near diseased organ or body part) or prevention (big veins in arms), and how much blood to take (described in imprecise measurements, like "the amount that a thirsty person can swallow in one gulp"). She even includes bleeding instructions for animals to keep them healthy. In the third and fourth sections, Hildegard describes treatments for malignant and minor problems and diseases according to the humoral theory, again including information on animal health. The fifth section is about diagnosis and prognosis, which includes instructions to check the patient's blood, pulse, urine and stool.[66] Finally, the sixth section documents a lunar horoscope to provide an additional means of prognosis for both disease and other medical conditions, such as conception and the outcome of pregnancy.[40] For example, she indicates that a waxing moon is good for human conception and is also good for sowing seeds for plants (sowing seeds is the plant equivalent of conception).[66] Elsewhere, Hildegard is even said to have stressed the value of boiling drinking water in an attempt to prevent infection.[73]

As Hildegard elaborates the medical and scientific relationship between the human microcosm and the macrocosm of the universe, she often focuses on interrelated patterns of four: "the four elements (fire, air, water, and earth), the four seasons, the four humors, the four zones of the earth, and the four major winds."[40] Although she inherited the basic framework of humoral theory from ancient medicine, Hildegard's conception of the hierarchical inter-balance of the four humors (blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile) was unique, based on their correspondence to "superior" and "inferior" elements—blood and phlegm corresponding to the "celestial" elements of fire and air, and the two biles corresponding to the "terrestrial" elements of water and earth. Hildegard understood the disease-causing imbalance of these humors to result from the improper dominance of the subordinate humors. This disharmony reflects that introduced by Adam and Eve in the Fall, which for Hildegard marked the indelible entrance of disease and humoral imbalance into humankind.[40] As she writes in Causae et Curae c. 42:

It happens that certain men suffer diverse illnesses. This comes from the phlegm which is superabundant within them. For if man had remained in paradise, he would not have had the flegmata within his body, from which many evils proceed, but his flesh would have been whole and without dark humor [livor]. However, because he consented to evil and relinquished good, he was made into a likeness of the earth, which produces good and useful herbs, as well as bad and useless ones, and which has in itself both good and evil moistures. From tasting evil, the blood of the sons of Adam was turned into the poison of semen, out of which the sons of man are begotten. And therefore their flesh is ulcerated and permeable [to disease]. These sores and openings create a certain storm and smoky moisture in men, from which the flegmata arise and coagulate, which then introduce diverse infirmities to the human body. All this arose from the first evil, which man began at the start, because if Adam had remained in paradise, he would have had the sweetest health, and the best dwelling-place, just as the strongest balsam emits the best odor; but on the contrary, man now has within himself poison and phlegm and diverse illnesses.[74]

Lingua ignota and Litterae ignotae

Alphabet by Hildegard von Bingen, Litterae ignotae, which she used for her language Lingua Ignota

Hildegard also invented an alternative alphabet. Litterae ignotae (Alternate Alphabet) was another work and was more or less a secret code, or even an intellectual code – much like a modern crossword puzzle today.

The text of her writing and compositions reveals Hildegard's use of this form of modified medieval Latin, encompassing many invented, conflated and abridged words.[13] Because of her inventions of words for her lyrics and use of a constructed script, many conlangers look upon her as a medieval precursor.[75]

Hildegard's Lingua ignota (Unknown Language) was a composition that comprised a series of invented words that corresponded to an eclectic list of nouns. Scholars believe that Hildegard used her Lingua Ignota to increase solidarity among her nuns.[76]


During her lifetime

Maddocks claims that it is likely Hildegard learned simple Latin and the tenets of the Christian faith but was not instructed in the Seven Liberal Arts, which formed the basis of all education for the learned classes in the Middle Ages: the Trivium of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric plus the Quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.[77] The correspondence she kept with the outside world, both spiritual and social, transcended the cloister as a space of spiritual confinement and served to document Hildegard's grand style and strict formatting of medieval letter writing.[78][79]

Contributing to Christian European rhetorical traditions, Hildegard "authorized herself as a theologian" through alternative rhetorical arts.[78] Hildegard was creative in her interpretation of theology. She believed that her monastery should exclude novices who were not from the nobility because she did not want her community to be divided on the basis of social status.[80] She also stated that "woman may be made from man, but no man can be made without a woman."[33]

Hildegard's preaching tours

Because of church limitation on public, discursive rhetoric, the medieval rhetorical arts included preaching, letter writing, poetry, and the encyclopedic tradition.[81] Hildegard's participation in these arts speaks to her significance as a female rhetorician, transcending bans on women's social participation and interpretation of scripture. The acceptance of public preaching by a woman, even a well-connected abbess and acknowledged prophet, does not fit the stereotype of this time. Her preaching was not limited to the monasteries; she preached publicly in 1160 in Germany. (New York: Routledge, 2001, 9). She conducted four preaching tours throughout Germany, speaking to both clergy and laity in chapter houses and in public, mainly denouncing clerical corruption and calling for reform.[82]

Many abbots and abbesses asked her for prayers and opinions on various matters.[1] She traveled widely during her four preaching tours.[83] She had several devoted followers, including Guibert of Gembloux, who wrote to her frequently and became her secretary after Volmar's death in 1173. Hildegard also influenced several monastic women, exchanging letters with Elisabeth of Schönau, a nearby visionary.[84]

Hildegard corresponded with popes such as Eugene III and Anastasius IV, statesmen such as Abbot Suger, German emperors such as Frederick I Barbarossa, and other notable figures such as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who advanced her work, at the behest of her abbot, Kuno, at the in 1147 and 1148. Hildegard of Bingen's correspondence is an important component of her literary output.[85]

Beatification, canonization and recognition as a Doctor of the Church

Hildegard was one of the first persons for whom the Roman canonization process was officially applied, but the process took so long that four attempts at canonization were not completed and she remained at the level of her beatification. Her name was nonetheless taken up in the Roman Martyrology at the end of the 16th century. Her feast day is 17 September. Numerous popes have referred to Hildegard as a saint, including Pope John Paul II[86] and Pope Benedict XVI.[87]

On 10 May 2012, Pope Benedict XVI extended the liturgical cult of St. Hildegard to the entire Catholic Church[88] in a process known as "equivalent canonization,"[89] thus laying the groundwork for naming her a Doctor of the Church.[90] On 7 October 2012, the feast of the Holy Rosary, the pope named her a Doctor of the Church, the fourth woman among 36 saints given that title by the Roman Catholic Church.[91] He called her "perennially relevant" and "an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music."[92]

Hildegard of Bingen also appears in the calendar of saints of various Anglican churches, such as that of the Church of England, in which she is commemorated on 17 September.[93]

Hildegard's parish and pilgrimage church in Eibingen near Rüdesheim houses her relics.[94]

Modern interest

German 10 DM commemorative coin issued by the Federal Republic of Germany (1998): Hildegard of Bingen writing the book (Liber), 'Sci vias Domini', inspired by the hand of the Lord
German 10 DM commemorative coin issued by the Federal Republic of Germany (1998) designed by Carl Vezerfi-Clemm on the 900th anniversary of Hildegard of Bingen's birth

In recent years, Hildegard has become of particular interest to feminist scholars.[95] They note her reference to herself as a member of the weaker sex and her rather constant belittling of women. Hildegard frequently referred to herself as an unlearned woman, completely incapable of Biblical exegesis.[96] Such a statement on her part, however, worked to her advantage because it made her statements that all of her writings and music came from visions of the Divine more believable, therefore giving Hildegard the authority to speak in a time and place where few women were permitted a voice.[97] Hildegard used her voice to amplify the Church's condemnation of institutional corruption, in particular simony.

Hildegard has also become a figure of reverence within the contemporary New Age movement, mostly because of her holistic and natural view of healing, as well as her status as a mystic. Though her medical writings were long neglected, and then studied without reference to their context,[98] she was the inspiration for Dr. Gottfried Hertzka's "Hildegard-Medicine", and is the namesake for June Boyce-Tillman's Hildegard Network, a healing center that focuses on a holistic approach to wellness and brings together people interested in exploring the links between spirituality, the arts, and healing.[99] Her reputation as a medicinal writer and healer was also used by early feminists to argue for women's rights to attend medical schools.[98] Hildegard's reincarnation has been debated since 1924 when Austrian mystic Rudolf Steiner lectured that a nun of her description was the past life of Russian poet-philosopher Vladimir Soloviev,[100] whose Sophianic visions are often compared to Hildegard's.[101] Sophiologist Robert Powell writes that hermetic astrology proves the match,[102] while mystical communities in Hildegard's lineage include that of artist Carl Schroeder[103] as studied by Columbia sociologist Courtney Bender[104] and supported by reincarnation researchers Walter Semkiw and Kevin Ryerson.[105]

Recordings and performances of Hildegard's music have gained critical praise and popularity since 1979. See Discography listed below.

The following modern musical works are directly linked to Hildegard and her music or texts:

The artwork The Dinner Party features a place setting for Hildegard.[109]

In space, the minor planet 898 Hildegard is named for her.[110]

In film, Hildegard has been portrayed by Patricia Routledge in a BBC documentary called Hildegard of Bingen (1994),[111] by Ángela Molina in Barbarossa (2009)[112] and by Barbara Sukowa in the film Vision, directed by Margarethe von Trotta.[113]

Hildegard was the subject of a 2012 fictionalized biographic novel by .[114]

The plant genus Hildegardia is named after her because of her contributions to herbal medicine.[115]

Hildegard makes an appearance in The Baby-Sitters Club #101: Claudia Kishi, Middle School Drop-Out by Ann M. Martin, when Anna Stevenson dresses as Hildegard for Halloween.[116]

A feature documentary film, , was released by American director in 2014.[117]

The off-Broadway musical In the Green, written by Grace McLean, followed Hildegard's story.[118]


Primary sources

Editions of Hildegard's works
  • Hildegardis Bingensis, Opera minora II. edited by C.P. Evans, J. Deploige, S. Moens, M. Embach, K. Gärtner, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCCM 226A (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), ISBN 978-2-503-54837-1
  • Hildegardis Bingensis, Opera minora. edited by H. Feiss, C. Evans, B.M. Kienzle, C. Muessig, B. Newman, P. Dronke, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCCM 226 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), ISBN 978-2-503-05261-8
  • Hildegardis Bingensis. Werke Band IV. Lieder Symphoniae. Edited by Barbara Stühlmeyer. Beuroner Kunstverlag 2012. ISBN 978-3-87071-263-1.
  • Lieder (Otto Müller Verlag Salzburg 1969: modern edition in adapted square notation)
  • Marianne Richert Pfau, Hildegard von Bingen: Symphonia, 8 volumes. Complete edition of the Symphonia chants. (Bryn Mawr, Hildegard Publishing Company, 1990).
  • Beate Hildegardis Cause et cure, ed. L. Moulinier (Berlin, Akademie Verlag, 2003)
  • Epistolarium pars prima I–XC edited by L. Van Acker, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCCM 91A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1991)
  • Epistolarium pars secunda XCI–CCLr edited by L. Van Acker, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCCM 91A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1993)
  • Epistolarium pars tertia CCLI–CCCXC edited by L. Van Acker and M. Klaes-Hachmoller, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis XCIB (Turnhout: Brepols, 2001)
  • Scivias. A. Führkötter, A. Carlevaris eds., Corpus Christianorum Scholars Version vols. 43, 43A. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003)
  • Liber vitae meritorum. A. Carlevaris ed. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCCM 90 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995)
  • Liber divinorum operum. A. Derolez and P. Dronke eds., Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis CCCM 92 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1996)
  • Hildegard of Bingen, Two Hagiographies: Vita sancti Rupperti confessoris, Vita sancti Dysibodi episcopi, ed. and trans. Hugh Feiss & Christopher P. Evans, Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations 11 (Leuven and Paris: Peeters, 2010)
  • Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language: An Edition, Translation, and Discussion, ed. Sarah Higley (2007) (the entire Riesencodex glossary, with additions from the Berlin MS, translations into English, and extensive commentary)
Early manuscripts of Hildegard's works
  • Wiesbaden, Hessische Landesbibliothek, MS 2 (Riesen Codex) or Wiesbaden Codex (c. 1180–85)
  • Dendermonde, Belgium, St.-Pieters-&-Paulusabdij Cod. 9 (Villarenser codex) (c. 1174/75)
  • Leipzig, University Library, St. Thomas 371
  • Paris, Bibl. Nat. MS 1139
  • München, University Library, MS 2∞156

Other sources

  • Friedrich Wilhelm Emil Roth, "Glossae Hildigardis", in: Elias Steinmeyer and Eduard Sievers eds., Die Althochdeutschen Glossen, vol. III. Zürich: Wiedmann, 1895, 1965, pp. 390–404.
  • Analecta Sanctae Hildegardis, in Analecta Sacra vol. 8 edited by Jean-Baptiste Pitra (Monte Cassino, 1882).
  • Patrologia Latina vol. 197 (1855).
  • Explanatio Regulae S. Benedicti
  • Explanatio Symboli S. Athanasii
  • Homeliae LVIII in Evangelia.
  • Hymnodia coelestis.
  • Ignota lingua, cum versione Latina
  • Liber divinorum operum simplicis hominis (1163–73/74)
  • Liber vitae meritorum (1158–63)
  • Libri simplicis et compositae medicinae.
  • Physica, sive Subtilitatum diversarum naturarum creaturarum libri novem
  • Scivias seu Visiones (1141–51)
  • Solutiones triginta octo quaestionum
  • Tractatus de sacramento altaris.

See also


  1. ^ a b Bennett, Judith M. and Hollister, Warren C. Medieval Europe: A Short History (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), p. 317.
  2. ^ a b "Women of Historic Note". Washington Post, By Gayle Worl 9 March 1997
  3. ^ Jones, Gaynor G.; Palisca, Claude V. (2001). Grout, Donald J(ay). Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.11845.
  4. ^ Jöckle, Clemens (2003). Encyclopedia of Saints. Konecky & Konecky. p. 204.
  5. ^ a b Caviness, Madeline. "Artist: 'To See, Hear, and Know All at Once'", in Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. Barbara Newman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), pp. 110–24; Nathaniel M. Campbell, "Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen's Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript," Eikón / Imago 4 (2013, Vol. 2, No. 2), pp. 1–68, accessible online here.
  6. ^ a b Burkholder, J. Peter, Claude V. Palisca, and Donald Jay Grout. 2006. Norton anthology of western music. New York: W.W. Norton.
  7. ^ Some writers have speculated a distant origin for opera in this piece, though without any evidence. See: [1]; alt Opera, see Florentine Camerata in the province of Milan, Italy. [2] and [3] Archived 12 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter Proclaiming Saint Hildegard of Bingen, professed nun of the Order of Saint Benedict, a Doctor of the Universal Church, 7 October 2012.
  9. ^ Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), 40; Maddocks, Fiona. Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age (New York: Doubleday, 2001), p. 9.
  10. ^ Gies, Frances; Gies, Joseph (1978). Women in the Middle Ages. Harper & Row. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-06-464037-4.
  11. ^ Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), pp. 278–79.
  12. ^ Fiona Bowie, Oliver Davies. Hildegard of Bingen: An Anthology. SPCK 1990. Some sources note younger siblings, specifically Bruno.
  13. ^ a b Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), p. 138; Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Visionary Women (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fotress, 2002), p. 7.
  14. ^ Newman, Barbara. "Hildegard of Bingen: Visions and Validation." Church History 54, no. 2 (1985): 163-75.
  15. ^ Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), p. 139.
  16. ^ Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), pp. 52–55, 69; and John Van Engen, "Abbess: 'Mother and Teacher', in Barbara Newman, ed., Voice of the Living Light (California: University of California Press, 1998), pp. 30–51, at pp. 32–33.
  17. ^ Michael McGrade, "Hildegard von Bingen", in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: allgemeine Enzyklopaldie der Musik, 2nd edition, T.2, Vol. 8, ed. Ludwig Fischer (Kassel and New York: Bahrenreiter, 1994).
  18. ^ Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Visionary Women (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fotress, 2002), p. 6.
  19. ^ Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), pp. 70–73; Reed-Jones, Carol. Hildegard of Bingen: Women of Vision (Washington: Paper Crane Press, 2004), p. 8.
  20. ^ Reed-Jones, Carol. Hildegard of Bingen: Women of Vision (Washington: Paper Crane Press, 2004), p. 6.
  21. ^ Furlong, Monica. Visions and Longings: Medieval Women Mystics (Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1996), p. 84.
  22. ^ Furlong, Monica. Visions and Longings: Medieval Women Mystics (Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1996), p. 85.
  23. ^ McGrade, "Hildegard", MGG.
  24. ^ "Women in art and music". rutgers.edu.
  25. ^ Flanagan, Sabina. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098–1179: a visionary life (London: Routledge, 1989), p. 11.
  26. ^ Underhill, Evelyn. Mystics of the Church (Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing, 1925), p. 77.
  27. ^ Schipperges, Heinrich. Hildegard of Bingen: Healing and the Nature of the Cosmos (New Jersey: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1997), p. 10.
  28. ^ Maddocks, Fiona. Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age (New York: Doubleday, 2001), p. 55.
  29. ^ Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Visionary Women (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fotress, 2002), p. 8.
  30. ^ Underhill, Evelyn. Mystics of the Church (Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing, 1925), pp. 78–79.
  31. ^ Hildegard von Bingen, Scivias, trans. by Columba Hart and Jane Bishop with an Introduction by Barbara J. Newman, and Preface by Caroline Walker Bynum (New York: Paulist Press, 1990), pp. 60–61.
  32. ^ a b Oliveira, Plinio Correa de. "St. Hildegard Von Bingen, 17 September". St. Hildegard von Bingen, Saint of 17 September.
  33. ^ a b Madigan, Shawn. Mystics, Visionaries and Prophets: A Historical Anthology of Women's Spiritual Writings (Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress, 1998), p. 96.
  34. ^ Silvas, Anna (1998). Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-271-01954-3. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  35. ^ Silvas, Anna (1998). Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-271-01954-3. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  36. ^ Coakley, John (2012). "A Shared Endeavor? Guibert of Gembloux on Hildegard of Bingen". Women, Men, and Spiritual Power : Female Saints and Their Male Collaborators. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 45–67. ISBN 978-0-231-13400-2.
  37. ^ Critical editions of all three of Hildegard's major works have appeared in the Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Medievalis: Scivias in vols. 43–43A, Liber vitae meritorum in vol. 90, and Liber divinorum operum in vol. 92.
  38. ^ Ferrante, Joan. "Correspondent: 'Blessed Is the Speech of Your Mouth'", in Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. Barbara Newman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), pp. 91–109. The modern critical edition (vols. 91–91b in the Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Medievalis) by L. Van Acker and M. Klaes-Hachmöller lists 390 canonical letters along with 13 letters that appear in different forms in secondary manuscripts. The letters have been translated into English in three volumes: The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen, trans. Joseph L. Baird and Radd K. Ehrman (Oxford University Press, 1994, 1998, and 2004).
  39. ^ Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae (Holistic Healing), trans. by Manfred Pawlik and Patrick Madigan, ed. by Mary Palmquist and John Kulas (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, Inc., 1994); Hildegard von Bingen, Physica, trans. Priscilla Throop (Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1998)
  40. ^ a b c d e f g Florence Eliza Glaze, "Medical Writer: 'Behold the Human Creature,'" in Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. Barbara Newman (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1998), pp. 125–48.
  41. ^ Higley, Sarah L. Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language: An Edition, Translation, and Discussion (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  42. ^ Hildegard of Bingen. Homilies on the Gospels. Trans. Beverly Mayne Kienzle (Cistercian Publications, 2011); and Hildegard of Bingen. Two Hagiographies: Vita Sancti Rupperti Confessoris and Vita Sancti Dysibodi Episcopi, ed. C.P. Evans, trans. Hugh Feiss (Louvain and Paris: Peeters, 2010).
  43. ^ Albert Derolez, "The Manuscript Transmission of Hildegard of Bingen's Writings," in Hildegard of Bingen: The Context of her Thought and Art, ed. Charles Burnett and Peter Dronke (London: The Warburg Institute, 1998), pp. 22–23; and Michael Embach, Die Schriften Hildegards von Bingen: Studien zu ihrer Überlieferung und Rezeption im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2003), p. 36.
  44. ^ Beuys, Barbara (2020). "Mit Visionen zur Autorität". Damals (in German). No. 6. pp. 22–29.
  45. ^ "Protestificatio" ("Declaration") to Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, trans. Mother Columba Hart and Jane Bishop (Paulist Press, 1990), pp. 59–61.
  46. ^ SCIVIAS.
  47. ^ Letter 4 in The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen, trans. Joseph L. Baird and Radd K. Ehrman (Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 34–35.
  48. ^ Van Engen, John. "Letters and the Public Persona of Hildegard," in Hildegard von Bingen in ihrem historischen Umfeld, ed. Alfred Haverkamp (Mainz: Trierer Historische Forschungen, 2000), pp. 375–418; and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, "Hildegard of Bingen", in Medieval Holy Women in the Christian Tradition, c. 1100–c. 1500, ed. Alastair Minnis and Rosalynn Voaden (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), pp. 343–69, at pp. 350–52.
  49. ^ Hildegard of Bingen. The Book of the Rewards of Life. Trans. Bruce W. Hozeski (Oxford University Press), 1994.
  50. ^ Newman, Barbara. "Hildegard of Bingen and the 'Birth of Purgatory'," Mystics Quarterly 19 (1993): 90–97.
  51. ^ Newman, Barbara. "'Sibyl of the Rhine': Hildegard's Life and Times," in Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. Barbara Newman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), pp. 1–29, at pp. 17–19.
  52. ^ "Liber divinorum operum[manuscript]". lib.ugent.be. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  53. ^ "The Life of Hildegard", II.16, in Jutta & Hildegard: The Biographical Sources, trans. Anna Silvas (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), 179; Dronke, Peter. Women Writers of the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 162–63.
  54. ^ St. Hildegard of Bingen, The Book of Divine Works, trans. Nathaniel M. Campbell (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018). ISBN 978-0-8132-3129-7
  55. ^ Hildegard of Bingen. Symphonia, ed. Barbara Newman (2nd Ed.; Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988, 1998).
  56. ^ Flanagan, Sabina. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098–1179: A Visionary Life (London: Routledge, 1989), p. 102.
  57. ^ Audrey Ekdahl Davidson. "Music and Performance: Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum." The Ordo Virtutum of Hildegard of Bingen: Critical Studies, (Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, 1992), pp. 1–29.
  58. ^ "Hildegard von Bingen Biography". www.singers.com. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  59. ^ Maddocks, Fiona. Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age (New York: Doubleday, 2001), p. 194.
  60. ^ Newman, Barbara. Voice of the Living Light (California: University of California Press, 1998), p. 150.
  61. ^ Holsinger, Bruce. "The Flesh of the Voice: Embodiment and the Homoerotics of Devotion in the Music of Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179),"Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 19 (Autumn, 1993): pp. 92–125.
  62. ^ See Jennifer Bain, "Hildegard, Hermannus and Late Chant Style," Journal of Music Theory, 2008, vol. 52.
  63. ^ Margot Fassler. "Composer and Dramatist: 'Melodious Singing and the Freshness of Remorse,'" Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. Barbara Newman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 149–75; Marianna Richert-Pfau, "Mode and Melody Types in Hildegard von Bingen's Symphonia," Sonus 11 (1990): 53–71; Beverly Lomer, Music, Rhetoric and the Sacred Feminine (Saarbrücken, Germany: Verlag Dr. Müller, 2009) and eadem, "Hildegard of Bingen: Music, Rhetoric and the Divine Feminine," in Journal of the International Alliance of Women and Music, vol. 18, No. 2, 2012. See also Lomer's discussion of "The Theory and Rhetoric of Hildegard's Music," in the International Society for Hildegard von Bingen Studies' online edition of Hildegard's Symphonia.
  64. ^ See the facsimile of her music now freely available on IMSLP.
  65. ^ Butcher, Carmen Acevedo. Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader (Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2007), p. 27; see also Beverly Lomer, "Hildegard of Bingen: Music, Rhetoric and the Divine Feminine," in Journal of the International Alliance of Women and Music, vol. 18, No. 2, 2012.
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  68. ^ Hozeski, Bruce W. Hildegard's Healing Plants: From Her Medieval Classic Physica (Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 2001), pp. xi–xii
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  79. ^ For cloister as confinement see "Female" section of "Cloister" in Catholic Encyclopedia.
  80. ^ See Hildegard's correspondence with Tengswich of Andernach, in Letters 52 and 52r, in The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen, Vol. 1, trans.Baird and Ehrman (Oxford University Press, 1994), 127–30; and discussion in Alfred Haverkamp, "Tenxwind von Andernach und Hildegard von Bingen: Zwei »Weltanschauungen« in der Mitte des 12. Jahrhunderts," in Institutionen, Kultur und Gesellschaft im Mittelalter: Feschrift für Josef Fleckenstein, ed. Lutz Fenske, Werner Rösener, and Thomas Zotz (Jan Thorbecke Verlag: Sigmaringen, 1984), 515–48; and Peter Dronke, Women Writers of the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 165–67.
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Primary Sources (in translation):

  • Hildegard of Bingen. The Book of Divine Works. Trans. by Nathaniel M. Campbell. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018.
  • ________. The Book of the Rewards of Life. Trans. Bruce Hozeski. New York : Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • ________. Causae et Curae (Holistic Healing). Trans. by Manfred Pawlik and Patrick Madigan. Edited by Mary Palmquist and John Kulas. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, Inc., 1994.
  • ________. Causes and Cures of Hildegard of Bingen. Trans. by Priscilla Throop. Charlotte, VT: MedievalMS, 2006, 2008.
  • ________. Homilies on the Gospels. Trans. by Beverly Mayne Kienzle. Trappist, KY: Cistercian Publications, 2011.
  • ________. The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen. Trans. by Joseph L. Baird and Radd K. Ehrman. 3 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994/1998/2004.
  • ________. Physica. Trans. Priscilla Throop. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1998.
  • ________. Scivias. Trans. by Columba Hart and Jane Bishop. Introduction by Barbara J. Newman. Preface by Caroline Walker Bynum. New York: Paulist Press, 1990.
  • ________. Solutions to Thirty-Eight Questions. Trans. Beverly Mayne Kienzle, with Jenny C. Bledsoe and Stephen H. Behnke. Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications / Liturgical Press, 2014.
  • ________. Symphonia: A Critical Edition of the Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum (Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations), ed. and trans. Barbara Newman. Cornell Univ. Press, 1988/1998.
  • ________. Two Hagiographies: Vita sancti Rupperti confessoris. Vita sancti Dysibodi episcopi. Intro. and trans. Hugh Feiss, O.S.B.; ed. Christopher P. Evans. Paris, Leuven, Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2010.
  • ________. Three Lives and a Rule: the Lives of Hildegard, Disibod, Rupert, with Hildegard's Explanation of the Rule of St. Benedict. Trans. by Priscilla Throop. Charlotte, VT: MedievalMS, 2010.
  • Sarah L. Higley. Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language: An Edition, Translation, and Discussion New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
  • Silvas, Anna. Jutta and Hildegard: The Biographical Sources. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-271-01954-3

Secondary Sources:

  • Bennett, Judith M. and C. Warren Hollister. Medieval Europe: A Short History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. 289, 317.
  • Boyce-Tillman, June. "Hildegard of Bingen at 900: The Eye of a Woman." The Musical Times 139, no. 1865 (Winter, 1998): 31–36.
  • Butcher, Carmen Acevedo. Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader. Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2007.
  • Davidson, Audrey Ekdahl. "Music and Performance: Hildegard of Bingen's Ordo Virtutum." The Ordo Virtutum of Hildegard of Bingen: Critical Studies. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, 1992.
  • Dietrich, Julia. "The Visionary Rhetoric of Hildegard of Bingen." Listening to Their Voices: The Rhetorical Activities of Historic Women. Ed. Molly Meijer Wertheimer. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997. 202–14.
  • Fassler, Margot. "Composer and Dramatist: 'Melodious Singing and the Freshness of Remorse.'" Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World. Edited by Barbara Newman. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Flanagan, Sabina. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098–1179: A Visionary Life. London: Routledge, 1989.
  • Fox, Matthew. Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen. New Mexico: Bear and Company, 1985.
  • Furlong, Monica. Visions and Longings: Medieval Women Mystics. Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1996.
  • Glaze, Florence Eliza. "Medical Writer: 'Behold the Human Creature.'" Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World. Edited by Barbara Newman. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Holsinger, Bruce. Music, Body, and Desire In Medieval Culture. California: Stanford University Press, 2001.
  • King-Lenzmeier, Anne. Hildegard of Bingen: an integrated version. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2001.
  • Maddocks, Fiona. Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
  • Madigan, Shawn. Mystics, Visionaries and Prophets: A Historical Anthology of Women's Spiritual Writings. Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress, 1998.
  • McGrade, Michael. "Hildegard von Bingen." Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: allgemeine Enzyklopaldie der Musik, 2nd edition, T. 2, Volume 8. Edited by Ludwig Fischer. Kassel, New York: Bahrenreiter, 1994.
  • Moulinier, Laurence, Le manuscrit perdu à Strasbourg. Enquête sur l'œuvre scientifique de Hildegarde, Paris/Saint-Denis, Publications de la Sorbonne-Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 1995, 286 p.
  • ________. "Un lexique trilingue du XIIe siècle : la lingua ignota de Hildegarde de Bingen", dans Lexiques bilingues dans les domaines philosophique et scientifique (Moyen Âge-Renaissance), Actes du colloque international organisé par l'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes-IVe Section et l'Institut Supérieur de Philosophie de l'Université Catholique de Louvain, Paris, 12–14 juin 1997, éd. J. Hamesse, D. Jacquart, Turnhout, Brepols, 2001, p. 89–111.
  • ________. "Un témoin supplémentaire du rayonnement de sainte Radegonde au Moyen Age ? La Vita domnae Juttae (XIIe siècle)", Bulletin de la société des Antiquaires de l'Ouest, 5e série, t. XV, 3e et 4e trimestres 2001, pp. 181–97.
  • Newman, Barbara. Voice of the Living Light. California: University of California Press, 1998.
  • ________. "Hildegard of Bingen: Visions and Validation." Church History 54 (1985): 163–75.
  • ________. "'Sibyl of the Rhine': Hildegard's Life and Times." Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World. Edited by Barbara Newman. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1998.
  • ________. Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987.
  • Richert-Pfau, Marianne. "Mode and Melody Types in Hildegard von Bingen's Symphonia." Sonus 11 (1990): 53–71.
  • Richert-Pfau, Marianne and Stefan Morent. Hildegard von Bingen: Klang des Himmels. Koeln: Boehlau Verlag, 2005.
  • Salvadori, Sara. Hildegard von Bingen. A Journey into the Images. Milan: Skira, 2019.
  • Schipperges, Heinrich. Hildegard of Bingen: healing and the nature of the cosmos. New Jersey: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1997.
  • Stühlmeyer, Barbara. Die Kompositionen der Hildegard von Bingen. Ein Forschungsbericht. In: Beiträge zur Gregorianik. 22. ConBrio Verlagsgesellschaft, Regensburg 1996, ISBN 978-3-930079-23-0, S. 74–85.
  • ________. Die Gesänge der Hildegard von Bingen. Eine musikologische, theologische und kulturhistorische Untersuchung. Olms, Hildesheim 2003, ISBN 978-3-487-11845-1.
  • ________. Tugenden und Laster. Wegweisung im Dialog mit Hildegard von Bingen. Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 2012, ISBN 978-3-87071-287-7.
  • ________. Wege in sein Licht. Eine spirituelle Biografie über Hildegard von Bingen. Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 2013, ISBN 978-3-87071-293-8.
  • ________. Hildegard von Bingen. Leben – Werk – Verehrung. Topos plus Verlagsgemeinschaft, Kevelaer 2014, ISBN 978-3-8367-0868-5.
  • The Life and Works of Hildegard von Bingen. Internet. Available from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/hildegarde.html; accessed 14 November 2009.
  • Tillman, June-Boyce. "Hildegard of Bingen at 900: The Eye of a Woman". The Musical Times 139, no. 1865 (Winter, 1998): 31–36.
  • Underhill, Evelyn. Mystics of the Church. Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing, 1925.

Further reading

General commentary
  • Burnett, Charles and Peter Dronke, eds. Hildegard of Bingen: The Context of Her Thought and Art. The Warburg Colloquia. London: The University of London, 1998.
  • Cherewatuk, Karen and Ulrike Wiethaus, eds. Dear Sister: Medieval Women and the Epistolary Genre. Middle Ages Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.
  • Davidson, Audrey Ekdahl. The Ordo Virtutum of Hildegard of Bingen: Critical Studies. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1992. ISBN 978-1-879288-17-1
  • Dronke, Peter. Women Writers of the Middle Ages: A Critical Study of Texts from Perpetua to Marguerite Porete. 1984. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Flanagan, Sabina. Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary Life. London: Routledge, 1998. ISBN 978-0-7607-1361-7
  • Gosselin, Carole & Micheline Latour. Hildegarde von Bingen, une musicienne du XIIe siècle. Montréal: Université du Québec à Montréal, Département de musique, 1990.
  • King-Lenzmeier, Anne H. Hildegard of Bingen: An Integrated Vision. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2001.
  • Newman, Barbara. Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
  • Newman, Barbara, ed. Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World. Berkeley: University of California, 1998.
  • Pernoud, Régine. Hildegard of Bingen: Inspired Conscience of the Twelfth Century. Translated by Paul Duggan. NY: Marlowe & Co., 1998.
  • Schipperges, Heinrich. The World of Hildegard of Bingen: Her Life, Times, and Visions. Trans. John Cumming. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1999.
  • Wilson, Katharina. Medieval Women Writers. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1984.
On Hildegard's illuminations
  • Baillet, Louis. "Les miniatures du »Scivias« de Sainte Hildegarde." Monuments et mémoires publiés par l'Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres 19 (1911): 49–149.
  • Campbell, Nathaniel M. "Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen's Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript." Eikón / Imago 4 (2013, Vol. 2, No. 2), pp. 1–68; accessible online here.
  • Caviness, Madeline. "Gender Symbolism and Text Image Relationships: Hildegard of Bingen's Scivias." In Translation Theory and Practice in the Middle Ages, ed. Jeanette Beer, pp. 71–111. Studies in Medieval Culture 38. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997.
  • Eadem. "Hildegard of Bingen: German Author, Illustrator, and Musical Composer, 1098–1179." In Dictionary of Women Artists, ed. Delia Gaze, pp. 685–87. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997.
  • Eadem. "Artist: 'To See, Hear, and Know All at Once'." In Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. Barbara Newman, pp. 110–24. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Eadem. "Hildegard as Designer of the Illustrations to Her Works." In Hildegard of Bingen: The Context of Her Thought and Art, ed. Charles Burnett and Peter Dronke, pp. 29–62. London: Warburg Institute, 1998.
  • Harris, Anne Sutherland and Linda Nochlin, Women Artists: 1550–1950, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Knopf, New York, 1976. ISBN 978-0-394-73326-5
  • Führkötter, Adelgundis. The Miniatures from the Book Scivias: Know the Ways – of St Hildegard of Bingen from the Illuminated Rupertsberg Codex. Vol. 1. Armaria patristica et mediaevalia. Turnhout: Brepols, 1977.
  • Keller, Hiltgart L. Mittelrheinische Buchmalereien in Handschriften aus dem Kreise der Hiltgart von Bingen. Stuttgart: Surkamp, 1933.
  • Kessler, Clemencia Hand. "A Problematic Illumination of the Heidelberg "Liber Scivias"." Marsyas 8 (1957): 7–21.
  • Meier, Christel. "Zum Verhältnis von Text und Illustration im überlieferten Werk Hildegards von Bingen." In Hildegard von Bingen, 1179–1979. Festschrift zum 800. Todestag der Heiligen, ed. Anton Ph. Brück, pp. 159–69. Mainz: Selbstverlag der Gesellschaft für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte, 1979.
  • Eadem. "Calcare caput draconis. Prophetische Bildkonfiguration in Visionstext und Illustration: zur Vision »Scivias« II, 7." In Hildegard von Bingen. Prophetin durch die Zeiten, edited by Äbtissin Edeltraud Forster, 340–58. Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Herder, 1997.
  • Otto, Rita. "Zu einigen Miniaturen einer »Scivias«-Handschrift des 12. Jahrhunderts." Mainzer Zeitschrift. Mittelrheinishces Jahrbuch für Archäologie, Kunst und Geschichte 67/68 (1972): 128–37.
  • Saurma-Jeltsch, Lieselotte. "Die Rupertsberger »Scivias«-Handschrift: Überlegungen zu ihrer Entstehung." In Hildegard von Bingen. Prophetin durch die Zeiten, ed. Äbtissin Edeltraud Forster, pp. 340–58. Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Herder, 1997.
  • Eadem. Die Miniaturen im "Liber Scivias" der Hildegard von Bingen: die Wucht der Vision und die Ordnung der Bilder. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1998.
  • Schomer, Josef. Die Illustrationen zu den Visionen der hl. Hildegard als künstlerische Neuschöpfung (das Verhältnis der Illustrationen zueinander und zum Texte). Bonn: Stodieck, 1937.
  • Suzuki, Keiko. "Zum Strukturproblem in den Visionsdarstellungen der Rupertsberger «Scivias» Handschrift." Sacris Erudiri 35 (1995): 221–91.
  • Eadem. Bildgewordene Visionen oder Visionserzählungen: Vergleichende Studie über die Visionsdarstellungen in der Rupertsberger Scivias-Handschrift und im Luccheser Liber divinorum operum-Codex der Hildegard von Bingen. Neue Berner Schriften zur Kunst, 5. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 1998.
Background reading
  • Boyce-Tillman, June. The Creative Spirit: Harmonious Living with Hildegard of Bingen, Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2000. ISBN 978-0-8192-1882-7
  • Butcher, Carmen Acevedo. Man of Blessing: A Life of St. Benedict. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-61261-162-4
  • Bynum, Caroline Walker. Holy Feast and Holy Fast: the Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
  • Bynum, Caroline Walker. Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200–1336. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
  • Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Society, Thames and Hudson, London, 1990. ISBN 978-0-500-20354-5
  • Constable, Giles Constable. The Reformation of the Twelfth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Dronke, Peter, ed. A History of Twelfth-Century Western Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Holweck, the Rt. Reverend Frederick G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints, with a General Introduction on Hagiology. 1924. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1990.
  • Lachman, Barbara. Hildegard: The Last Year. Boston: Shambhala, 1997.
  • McBrien, Richard. Lives of the Saints: From Mary and St. Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003.
  • McKnight, Scot. The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2006.
  • Newman, Barbara. God and the Goddesses. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1911-1
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.
  • Sweet, Victoria. "Hildegard of Bingen and the Greening of Medieval Medicine." Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1999, 73:381–403.
  • Eadem. Rooted in the Earth, Rooted in the Sky: Hildegard of Bingen and Premodern Medicine. New York: Routledge Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-415-97634-3
  • Ulrich, Ingeborg. Hildegard of Bingen: Mystic, Healer, Companion of the Angels. Trans. Linda M. Maloney. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1993.
  • Ward, Benedicta. Miracles and the Medieval Mind. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1987.
  • Weeks, Andrew. German mysticism from Hildegard of Bingen to Ludwig Wittgenstein: a literary and intellectual history. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-7914-1419-4

External links

Read more on Wikipedia.org

J.S. BachChaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor

Chaconne. Bach’s manuscript (beginning).

The Partita in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004) by Johann Sebastian Bach was written between 1717 and 1720. It is a part of his compositional cycle called Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.


The partita contains five movements, given in Italian as:

  1. Allemanda
  2. Corrente
  3. Sarabanda
  4. Giga
  5. Ciaccona

Except for the ciaccona, the movements are dance types of the time, and they are frequently listed by their French names: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, and Chaconne. The final movement is written in the form of variations, and lasts approximately as long as the first four movements combined.

Performance time of the whole partita varies between 26 and 32 minutes, depending on the approach and style of the performer.


Professor Helga Thoene suggests that this partita, and especially its last movement, was a tombeau written in memory of Bach's first wife, Maria Barbara Bach (who died in 1720),[1] though this theory is controversial.[2]

Yehudi Menuhin called the Chaconne "the greatest structure for solo violin that exists".[3]

Violinist Joshua Bell has said the Chaconne is "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect." He played the piece busking in L'Enfant Plaza for The Washington Post.[4]

Transcriptions of the Ciaccona

Raymond Erickson has identified approximately two hundred transcriptions and arrangements of Bach's Ciaccona.


Piano transcriptions

Since Bach's time, several transcriptions of the piece have been made for other instruments, particularly for the piano (including those by Ferruccio Busoni, Alexander Siloti, Joachim Raff, and Rudolf Lutz), and for the piano left-hand (by Johannes Brahms, Paul Wittgenstein, and Géza Zichy).

Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann in June 1877, said about the ciaccona:

On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.[5]

Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann each wrote piano accompaniments for the work.

Carl Reinecke transcribed the piece for piano duet.

Organ transcriptions

The earliest version for organ is by William Thomas Best. Further transcriptions are by John Cook, Wilhelm Middelschulte, Walter Henry Goss-Custard (1915–55), and Henri Messerer (1838–1923).

In the preface to his 1955 transcription, John Cook writes: "The Chaconne is sublimely satisfying in its original form, yet many will agree that a single violin is only able to hint at the vast implications of much of this music … It is perhaps not unreasonable to suppose that Bach would have chosen the organ, had he transcribed the Chaconne himself, as the instrument best suited to the scale of his ideas … A good performance on the violin may be taken as the best guide to interpretation on the organ — the two instruments are not without their points in common, and both were beloved of Bach."

Cello transcriptions

There is a transcription of the Chaconne for solo cello made by cellist Johann Sebastian Paetsch in 2015. This has been published by the Hofmeister Musikverlag in Leipzig.[6]

Guitar transcriptions

The Chaconne is often performed on guitar. Marc Pincherle, Secretary of the French Society of Musicology in Paris, wrote in 1930: "If, insofar as certain rapid monodic passages are concerned, opinion is divided between the violin and the guitar as the better medium, the guitar always triumphs in polyphonic passages; that is to say almost throughout the entire work. The timbre of the guitar creates new and emotional resonance and unsuspected dynamic gradations in those passages which might have been created purely for the violin; as for instance the variations in arpeggi."[7]

The most well-known transcription for guitar is the Segovia transcription. Many guitarists today prefer to play the Chaconne directly from the violin score.[8]

Orchestra transcriptions

There are a number of transcriptions of the Chaconne for orchestras of different sizes, including Leopold Stokowski's transcription for a full symphony orchestra.[9]

Other transcriptions

Gustav Leonhardt arranged the Partita for harpsichord solo.[10] Anne Dudley arranged Bach's Chaconne for piano trio, and a recording by the Eroica Trio appears on their Baroque album. The Chaconne has also been arranged for harpsichord by Pieter-Jan Belder and for violin plus four voices by Christoph Poppen and the Hilliard Ensemble. The Chaconne has been arranged for pedal harp by Skaila Kanga.[11]


In 2005 Joseph C. Mastroianni published Chaconne The Novel. Milo, abandoned by the father who introduced him to Chaconne, studies in Spain for four years to master the piece.[12]

In 2008 Arnold Steinhardt, the violin soloist and first violinist of the Guarneri String Quartet, published Violin Dreams, a memoir about his life as a violinist and about his ultimate challenge: playing Bach's Chaconne.[13]

In 2017  [hu] and  [hu] published a book about Bach's Chaconne: Excerpts from Eternity – The Purification of Time and Character, the Fulfilment of Love and Cooperation with the Celestial Will in Johann Sebastian Bach's Ciaccona for Violin.




  • Altschuler, Eric Lewin. 2005. "Were Bach's Toccata and Fugue BWV565 and the Ciacconia from BWV1004 Lute Pieces?" The Musical Times 146, no. 1893 (Winter): 77–86.
  • Anderson, Rick. 2002. "Johann Sebastian Bach: Morimur. Hilliard Ensemble; Christoph Poppen. ECM 289 461 895-2, 2001." Notes, second series, 59, No. 1 (September): 145.
  • Bach: Suites, Partitas, Sonatas, Bärenreiter BA 11820, ISMN 9790006562602.
  • Berg, Christopher. 2009. "Bach, Busoni, Segovia, and the Chaconne". Pristine Madness [Christopher Berg blog] (10 August) (accessed 20 June 2016)[unreliable source?]
  • Block, Melissa. 2007. "Violin Dreams': Chasing Bach's Elusive Chaconne". NPR Music (18 January) (accessed 20 June 2016).
  • Erickson, Raymond. 2002. "Secret Codes, Dance and Bach's Great 'Ciaccona'". Early Music America 8, no. 2:34–43.
  • 3 Pieces from BWV 565, 903, 1004, Leipzig: Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag, FH 3021, 2015, (Editor/Arranger: Johann Sebastian Paetsch), ISMN 9790203430216.
  • Humphreys, David. 2002. "Esoteric Bach". Early Music 30, no. 2 (May): 307.
  • Mastroianni, Joseph C. n.d. Chaconne: The Novel. The Devil's Advocate (accessed 26 October 2014).
  • Menuhin, Yehudi. 2001. Unfinished Journey, new edition. London: Pimlico. ISBN 978-0-7126-6809-5.
  • Pincherle, Marc. 1930. "Bach and the Guitar".[full citation needed] (accessed 20 June 2016).
  • Rich, Alan. 2006. "Morimur: Is There Sex after Bach?" In his So I've Heard: Notes of a Migratory Music Critic, 66–67. Milwaukee: Amadeus. ISBN 1-57467-133-2.
  • Schumann, Clara, and Johannes Brahms. 1927. Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, 1853–1896, 2 vols., edited by Berthold Litzmann. Encore Music Editions. London: E. Arnold; New York: Longmans, Green and Co. Reprinted, Westport, CT: Hyperion Press, 1979. ISBN 0883557614.
  • Silbiger, Alexander. 1999. "Bach and the Chaconne". The Journal of Musicology 17, no. 3 (Summer): 358–85.
  • Smith, William Ander. 1990. The Mystery of Leopold Stokowski. Rutherford, Madison, and Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London and Toronto: Associated University Presses.
  • Thoene, Helga. 1994. "Johann Sebastian Bach. Ciaconna—Tanz oder Tombeau. Verborgene Sprache eines berühmten Werkes". In Festschrift zum Leopoldfest [15. Köthener Bachfesttage] , 14–81. Cöthener Bach-Hefte 6, Veröffentlichungen des Historischen Museums Köthen/Anhalt XIX. Köthen.
  • Thoene, Helga. 2001. Johann Sebastian Bach, Ciaccona: Tanz oder Tombeau?—Eine analytische Studie. Oschersleben: Ziethen. ISBN 3-935358-60-1.
  • Thoene, Helga. 2003. "Verborgener Klang und verschlüsselte Sprache in den Werken für Violine solo von Johann Sebastian Bach". In AnsBACHwoche, Almanach: 25 Juli bis 3. August 2003, 22–35. Ansbach: Bachwoche Ansbach GmbH.
  • Weingarten, Gene. 2007. "Pearls Before Breakfast" (article text only); includes video. Washington Post Magazine (April 8; accessed September 18, 2011).

Further reading

  • Erickson, Raymond. 2003. "Toward a 21st-Century Interpretation of Bach's Ciaccona for Solo Violin, BWV 1004/5". The American Bach Society Newsletter, Spring, 2003.

External links

Read more on Wikipedia.org

Featured Artists

Music Director, Donato Cabrera

Alexi Kenney, violin