Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Cum vox sanguinis Ursule

Hymn for St. Ursula and Companions (D 169r-170r, R 477vb-478ra) Back to Table of Contents
by Hildegard of Bingen
1. Cum vox sanguinis Ursule
et innocentis turbe eius
ante thronum Dei sonuit,
antiqua prophetia venit per radicem Mambre
in vera ostensione Trinitatis
et dixit:

2. Iste sanguis nos tangit,
nunc omnes gaudeamus.

3. Et postea venit
congregatio Agni,
per arietem in spinis pendentem, et dixit:

4. Laus sit in Ierusalem
per ruborem huius sanguinis.

5. Deinde venit sacrificium vituli
quod vetus lex ostendebat,
sacrificium laudis
circumamicta varietate, et que faciem Dei
Moysi obnubilabat, dorsum illi ostendens.

6. Hoc sunt sacerdotes
qui per linguas suas
Deum ostendunt et perfecte eum videre non possunt.

7. Et dixerunt: O nobilissima turba, virgo ista
que in terris Ursula vocatur in summis Columba
nominatur, quia innocentem turbam ad se collegit.

8. O Ecclesia, tu es
laudabilis in ista turba.

9, Turba magna, quam incombustus rubus
(quem Moyses viderat) significat,
et quam Deus in prima radice plantaverat
in homine quem de limo formaverat,
ut sine commixtione viri viveret,
cum clarissima voce clamavit
in purissimo auro, thopazio,
et saphiro circumamicta in auro.

10. Nunc gaudeant omnes celi
et omnes populi cum illis ornentur.
1. When the voice of Ursula’s blood
and of her innocent brood
resounded ‘fore God’s throne,
the ancient prophecy came forth by Mamre’s root—
a true disclosing of the Trinity—
and spoke:

2. “This blood is touching us—
now let us all rejoice!”

3. And next came forth
the congregation of the Lamb—
by the ram caught in the thorns—and spoke:

4. “Praise in Jerusalem
because of this blood’s scarlet gleam!”

5. Then came the sacrificial calf
the ancient Law revealed—
a sacrifice of praise—
the Law, girded with many colors, hid God’s face
from Moses and revealed his back.

6. This means the priests
who by their tongues
reveal God even though they cannot see him perfectly.

7. They spoke: “O noblest brood, this Virgin’s name
on earth was ‘Ursula’—the little bear—
but now on high she’s called ‘Columba’—dove—
because she gathered round her innocent brood.”

8. O Church, your praise
is with this brood!

9. Great brood—the burning bush
that Moses saw, its sign;
and God had planted it within the primal root
in Man he’d made from mud,
to live without man’s commingling—
with clearest voice they cried
in purest gold and topaz,
and sapphire set in gold.

10. Now let all the heavens rejoice,
and all the peoples be adorned with them!
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

A mode
Range: D below the final to A an octave above
Setting: primarily syllabic

In this hymn, Hildegard applies a mixture of tonal punctuations. While A is the predominant tonal demarcator, and a number of phrases open with the leap from A to the E above, she also uses E - a standard alternative. Less usual are the phrases that open with C, G, and F. Phrase lengths are also quite uneven (not atypical for this form), and thus performers might use their own discretion about combining some of the smaller units. The only caution would be to not place the A-to-E interval mid phrase, as it is clearly an opening gesture.

There are several minor differences between the sources and two more extensive ones, which are represented by ossia staves.

Further Resources for Cum vox sangunis Ursule
  • Hildegard of Bingen, Symphonia, ed. Barbara Newman (Cornell Univ. Press, 1988 / 1998), pp. 244-46 and 312-14.
  • 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 T. “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.
  • Flynn, William T. “Ductus figuratus et subtilis: Rhetorical interventions for women in two twelfth-century liturgies.” Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 78.1 (2010): 250-280, at pp. 264-275.
  • 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

No comments:

Post a Comment