Monday, December 23, 2019

Deus enim rorem in illas misit

Antiphon at Lauds (likely for Psalm 149) for St. Ursula and Companions Back to Table of Contents
(D 168r, R 472rb) by Hildegard of Bingen
Deus enim rorem in illas misit,
de quo multiplex fama crevit,
ita quod omnes populi
ex hac honorabili fama
velut cibum gustabant.
For God rained dew upon them
to grow their widespread fame,
that all the peoples should sup
of its honor
as of food.
Latin collated from the transcription of Beverly Lomer and the edition of Barbara Newman; translation by Nathaniel M. Campbell.

Transcription and Music Notes
by Beverly Lomer

E mode
Range: C below the final - G an octave and a third above
Setting: Syllabic

This short antiphon is musically fairly straightforward. Phrases begin either with the final E or with B, the secondary tone in this mode. The opening salutation, Deus enim rorem in illas misit, is outlined by the final. The next phrase begins with B and ends with E. The third line, ita quod omnes populi, is the only exception to the use of the primary punctuating pitches, as it opens with D and ends with B.

A Note on Liturgical Usage

In line with the expanded psalmody we have proposed for this Office (see Introduction), we suggest that this antiphon would have been paired with Psalm 149, the second of the final trio of psalms at festal Lauds. As William Flynn has noted, the “religious life” (in religione morum) for which St. Ursula and her companions were honorably famous (commemorated in the second antiphon, Unde quocumque) may be a reference to their performance of the Divine Office. If so, then the office of praise “in the church of the saints” (in ecclesia sanctorum) that is central to the first part of Psalm 149 matches nicely with the spreading dewdrops of their fame in this antiphon.

Further Resources for Deus enim rorem in illas misit
  • Hildegard of Bingen, Symphonia, ed. Barbara Newman (Cornell Univ. Press, 1988 / 1998), pp. 236 and 309-11.
  • Berschin, Walter. “Eine Offiziendichtung in der Symphonia Hildegards von Bingen: Ursula und die Elftausend Jungfrauen (carm. 44).” In Hildegard of Bingen: The Context of her Thought and Art. Ed. Charles Burnett and Peter Dronke. London: The Warburg Institute, 1998, pp. 157-62.
  • Flanagan, Sabina. “Die Heiligen Hildegard, Elisabeth, Ursula und die elftausend Jungfrauen.” In Tiefe des Gotteswissens - Schönheit der Sprachgestalt bei Hildegard von Bingen. Ed. Margot Schmidt. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: frommann-holzboog, 1995, pp. 209-22.
  • Flynn, William. “Reading Hildegard of Bingen’s Antiphons for the 11,000 Virgin-Martyrs of Cologne: Rhetorical ductus and Liturgical Rubrics.” Nottingham Medieval Studies 56 (2012), pp. 174-89.
  • Flynn, William. “Hildegard (1098-1179) and the Virgin Martyrs of Cologne.” In The Cult of St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins. Ed. Jane Cartwright. University of Wales Press, 2016, pp. 93-118.
  • Walter, Peter. “Die Heiligen in der Dichtung der hl. Hildegard von Bingen.” In Hildegard von Bingen, 1179-1979. Festschrift zum 800. Todestag der Heiligen. Ed. Anton Ph. Brück. Mainz: Selbstverlag der Gesellschaft für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte, 1979, pp. 211-37, at 223-29.
  • For a discography of this piece, see the comprehensive list by Pierre-F. Roberge: Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) - A discography

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